BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A Brockton native is proving her childhood bullies wrong by becoming a fast-growing social media influencer.
Sam McGraw, a graduate of Brockton High School, originally started a YouTube channel as a teenager in a wheelchair as a means to express herself.
"[But] I was actually super bullied on there," McGraw said. "People shut down my passion for social media."
After the 24-year-old graduated from college, she decided to hop on the TikTok trend -- leading to one of her videos going viral on the platform.
The video posted in August of 2020 features McGraw dancing and sharing words of body positivity when she accidentally splits her lip open with a fake acrylic nail she is wearing. It has since amassed over 3.5 million views and nearly 1 million likes.
"People thought it was the funniest thing ever," McGraw said. "I went to bed and I woke up and I had a 100,000 followers and I was like 'oh my goodness.'"
Over six months later, McGraw now has around 260,000 followers on the app, and her videos have collectively received over 8.8 million likes. She said her account is currently growing by around 1000 new followers per day, and she has already been offered to do paid sponsorships as an influencer.
"And its so funny because I like don't know how to handle it yet," she said. "At Patriots Place I was noticed by a group of like 20 kids [and] that was really overwhelming."
Along with comedic and review-style videos, McGraw also uses her platform to advocate for people with disabilities -- by detailing her own experience growing up in a wheelchair, opening up about medical procedures she has had, and being transparent about the medical issues she continues to face.
McGraw recently moved from Massachusetts to Florida last month, in hopes of pursuing a career reviewing hotels as a travel influencer.
"If I can do it, and do it so quickly, I truly believe anybody else can do it too as long as they just try hard," she said. "Whatever situation you're in you can rise above it and be who you want to be, and God has a plan for you so if you don't try you'll never know."
WBZ’s Matt Shearer (@MattWBZ) reports.