NEW JERSEY (PIX11) — Trinity Campbell won this year’s title of New Jersey Youth of the Year, presented by the Boys & Girls Club of America, by sharing her story and what she has overcome.

For the 16-year-old, singing, sketching and writing are powerful outlets to clear her head from the challenges of being bullied and homeless. The teen said she was in and out of hotels with her parents and two siblings. Often, they had to resort to sleeping in their car.

“My grades were blah during homelessness,” she told PIX11 News. “It was failure. I missed like two years of school, so it was terrible.”

And when she was in school, she was surrounded by overwhelming negative energy. Other kids would call her names and make fun of her appearance, she said.

“I tried to get over it but it was not one, it was many of them … like a knight fighting a dragon,” Trinity said.

Trinity said she always felt her parents’ love, but knew they had issues to overcome. They were sent to rehab. Afterward, she was moved to foster care and discovered the Boys & Girls Club.

She said the club was “a whole new world.”

Her message to her peers: Don’t feed into the negativity.

Trinity will be sharing that perspective as a counselor in training this summer. She was hired by the Boys & Girls Club to spread her confidence and optimism.

After that, she has her sights set on becoming a fashion designer. Her goal is to get a degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.