Three Memphis high school students have proven just how rewarding kindness can be; but also that it’s never too late to right your wrongs.
Kristopher Brown and Antwain Garrett, two football players at MLK College Preparatory High School, unintentionally went viral after they decided to help out their 14-year-old classmate, Michael Todd, who was being bullied for wearing the same clothes to school every day. Kristopher and Antwain gifted Michael with new clothes and shoes outside of his classroom and unknowingly, made national headlines within hours of the video being posted on Facebook.
The three teens were invited to appear on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’, where they shared how they initially contributed to the bullying by laughing while others made fun of Michael. In an effort to make amends, the idea to give back was born.
Ellen, in her usual fashion, was so moved by the gesture that she had a couple of surprises for the teens up her sleeve. Super star actor Will Smith made a guest appearance on her show to recognize and acknowledge the teens on such a good deed.
Will said, “I saw the video and me and Jada were sitting around…I was like, ‘That is fantastic and there is no way that I’m letting this pass without making contact with these kids. What you did felt small to you, but I promise you, that is exactly how human beings are supposed to interact with one another. And it’s not more complicated than that. Somebody’s having a hard time and you help them. It’s that simple.”
He continued: “What was really big also was the self-correct. You saw that you were laughing and you were part of it and you stopped and self-corrected.” Smith then presented the all three teens with items from his upcoming merch line as well as New Balance sneakers. New Balance took it a step forward and donated shoes to every student at MLK College Prep. To cap things off, Ellen then presented all three boys a check for $10k courtesy of Shutterfly.
This is the result of paying it forward! Great job, Kristopher Brown and Antwain Garrett!