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Emily Torchiana wins Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Public Service

Emily Torchiana (Jefferson Awards Foundation)

Charleston's Emily Torchiana won the prestigious Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Public Service Thursday night at the Jefferson Awards Foundation's National Gala.

Torchiana was nominated for her work in suicide prevention through her non-profit, The Invisible Illnesses, which hosts workshops to educate both students and parents on mental health.

A recent College of Charleston graduate, Torchiana herself attempted suicide after being cyber bullied in high school.

"The girl that stands before you today is significantly different than the one I was just seven years ago," Torchiana said Thursday night. "When I was in high school, I didn't think that my life mattered. ... I never thought that I was destined to do anything, and I felt worthless."

Torchiana was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and social anxiety, She now travels the country, sharing her story with the goal of giving people to open up about their own struggles, and to let them know they aren't alone.

Read more about Emily's story HERE.

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