“As Kevin was running to class, he started thinking, ‘I wonder why nobody speaks to him.’ Bill always walked through the halls with his head down, but one day Kevin said hi to him and talked to him.
“The hardest part of Bill’s day was lunch. He’d get in line like everybody else, but then everybody else sat with their friends, and he looked for an empty table and sat in silence. Kevin never noticed that before, so he walked over to him and said, ‘I want you to have lunch with me today.’” Kevin continued to ask him to sit with him at lunch. Then the other kids started talking to him, and “Bill started walking the halls with his head up. His mom even called the school and said, ‘For the first time in my son’s life, he is excited to go to school.’”
Later Bill got up the courage to ask if he could join the football team, and the coach said yes. “He was terrible at football, but his enthusiasm was out of this world, and he had the best attitude and was the best teammate .... He got to play in two games, and both times he ran the wrong way, and guess what? No one said anything. Even though the team didn’t make it to the state championship, the coach said, ‘This is the all-time greatest team because of the way we took care of one of our own.’”
The program leader emphasized, “I want you to realize this: All it takes is one, and that could be you. Kevin stood up. By chance he ran into someone. By choice he did something .... Every single one of you can make a difference. If everyone stands up and does the right thing, imagine what you can do.”
Afterwards, senior Katelyn Lussow described the program as “amazing.” She learned, “You have to accept everyone for who they are.”
Classmate Sarah Lehman said, “It was so inspiring. It hits home ... I know people like Bill and will make them feel welcome.”
Diane Raver can be contacted at email@example.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 114.