By: Laura Ratliff & Rima Abdelkader / TODAY
High school can be a tough time, but a little kindness goes a long way.
That’s clear from this heartwarming video of one ninth-grader in Tennessee whose day was instantly changed thanks to a simple act of kindness by his classmates.
Azrael Robinson, 15, goes to LaVergne High School in La Vergne, Tenn. After his classmates noticed that Robinson, a former bullying victim, hadn’t been his usual cheerful self, they banded together to cheer him up.
His biology teacher, Sonji Newman, told TODAY he goes out of his way regularly to help others.
“If they don’t understand something, he’s the first one to help,” Sonji Newman, a biology teacher at the school said. “If anything is dropped in the classroom, he’s the first one to pick it up.”
“If a student is down, he’s the first one to say everything is going to be okay,” Newman added.
According to Newman, two students approached her last week about doing something nice for Robinson. With her help, students collected a brand-new pair of sneakers, new clothes, and a little bit of money to give to their friend. They hid their surprise in the classroom’s supply closet before giving it to Robinson.
“They just wanted to give to him to make him feel better about himself,” said Newman, who said that, in her 20 years of teaching, she’s never seen such a pure act of kindness in the classroom. “[Robinson] was so grateful and so full of love. He just appreciated it so much.”
In a video shared on social media, two classmates, Kerolos Girgis and Dylan Norton, present a visibly touched Robinson with the shoes and new clothes. “We got you some stuff because of how generous you are and everything you do,” Girgis told Robinson.
The gift even surprised the boy’s mother, Traci Robinson. She told TODAY how her son had been bullied at a former school, so she was understandably worried when her son got in the car after school and started to cry. Instead, he explained how his classmates had come together to brighten his day.
“Even just knowing that this had happened, I bawled all the way home,” Robinson said.