7th-grader's 'Why am I not good enough?' video touches millions

Olivia Vella's poem has been viewed more than 20 million times.

May 30, 2017, 4:14 PM

— -- It's one thing to capture the attention of 20 million people on Facebook.

It's quite another to capture the attention of a seventh-grade classroom.

Olivia Vella did both. Her end-of-year poem that she presented in front of her class had her fellow students "in awe," said Brett Cornelius, seventh-grade writing teacher at Queen Creek Middle School.

The video of her delivery has been viewed more than 20 million times. During the six-minute poem, she asks the question "Why am I not good enough?"

"The reaction to the video shows I am not alone," Vella told ABC News. "We are not alone in how we feel."

In the video, Vella says, "Even though you spent hours trying to look pretty, you'll never be as good as those other girls at school.

"You look at other girls wishing you were them, but other girls are looking at you wishing they were you.

"You are loved. You are precious. You are beautiful. You are talented. You are capable. You are deserving of respect. And most of all, you are good enough."

Cornelius told ABC News, "I am witnessing the lives of men, women, and other children Olivia's age being impacted all around the world, and all because she woke up one morning and said, 'I can do this.' She came to school, anxiety and all, and chose to put her heart and soul on the line for all 180 of my students."

"We all must learn to love ourselves the way we were made," Molly Vella, Olivia Vella's mom, told ABC News. "Trying to change to please others won't make us happy."

Cornelius said the six-minute monologue, "filled with raw passion, fear, vulnerability and immense courage, has caused a worldwide rippling effect, and I'm so proud of her. She's steering this ship of self-love, and I'm proud to call her my captain and hero."

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