It’s Been a Long Way

One day during freshman year, I had to stay after to get extra help for an upcoming quiz for math class. There was another student who needed to make up a quiz or something but also needed a ride to track. I lived close to where the team practiced and offered to give that kid a ride to practice when he finished. I went to get help from another teacher and came back to get this student so he could make it to track on time. We built a very basic friendship, I’d occasionally give him rides to track and he’d smile in the hall or say hey. There wasn’t much to it, I just wanted to give him a hand.

Now we’re here, close to ready to starting senior year. He moved to another local high school not too long after I met him. We never grew close. But I recently found out he’s the recipient of a very rewarding and prestigious scholarship for college. Upon hearing the news, I felt so proud.

Here’s a kid that came from another country to be plopped on the wrong side of an upper middle-class suburban town. One time, I insisted that my mom w could drive him home because I didn’t feel comfortable with him walking home in the cold after dark. He lived a 20 minute walk from school so it wouldn’t be that bad, but it was dark and rainy. We dropped him off in what kids joked to be the “projects” of town. He didn’t let us get anywhere near the neighborhood, that he’d rather not risk or safety. This kid lived here.

I was sad to hear about him move, his sister and I had just striked up a nice friendship too. But then he moved and all I hear about is how this kid is a legend on and off the field. He’s a great athlete with dedication and sportsmanship, a good student with diligence to his studies, and a detailed artist.

I feel like I met only the tip of the iceberg. You know how you can only see like 10% of an iceberg? The other 90% is under the water? That’s this student. I feel like I met a kid with a lot of potential but saw nothing of it because I didn’t know he had 10x the determination and focus.

Who knew I was driving more than just some kid to track every now and then? I just feel so proud to have met him. I hope wherever he walks in life that his heart never wavers, his eyes never fail, and his smile never dims. He has everything in his hands to succeed.

That’s what I love about how life works. Doing a small deed can manifest into so much more. Not that I had anything to do with his success now, that’s all him. It just feels nice to support someone and to see someone collect the fruits of their efforts.

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