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It All Started With “Hi”

Heber, AZ
Hannah and Julien

Two amazing 8th graders were just following their teacher Ms. Kelton’s, instructions.  They were to write an affirmation for another student. Coincidentally, each wrote about the other; even though they were in different class periods.  Ms. Kelton felt it was important to acknowledge people for things they did well or to express your appreciation for something, etc. This fit perfectly into Golden Mustang, so they appeared in our pile of recommendations for early September. (That’s when I found out.) Since this program is about living by the Golden Rule and choosing kindness, these recommendations stood out as more than a compliment but very Wall-Worthy. 


Starting a new school isn’t easy for anyone but when it comes to lunch it can be downright discouraging. Most of the kids all have set groups of long-time friends. They’re busy talking while picking up their food trays or unzipping their lunch bags.  Without a thought they take a seat at a long table, filling in most of the spaces.


One of these 8th graders took notice of a new kid sitting alone and began to join him each day.  After sharing his plan to befriend this student the lunch crew of two became a trio.  Life intervened and good intentions temporarily forgotten, so then there were just two.


Good listening skills, helping someone new adjust and showing kindness at every turn describes Hannah, according to Julien.  He felt bad that his original intention to help someone new get a good start at school, hadn’t continued.  It made Julien take notice that the school needed more kids like Hannah. It isn’t really all that hard to be nice but it doesn’t always happen. “The best friendships can start with the word ‘Hi’;” acknowledged Julien.  He’s proud to know Hannah as a classmate at Mogollon Junior High; helping out in every way she can.


At the same time this all began, it was Julien’s example that inspired Hannah to get involved. The moral of the story is you never know when a small kindness gets someone else to thinking and those thoughts are put into motion. In this case it may have made life easier for someone new. All because of this quiet incident a discussion has ensued. Could be Mogollon will decide to encourage their classmates so that no one eats alone. Watch for an update. When it comes to young people, if they believe in something, it will happen.