Christina Peng/ Beckman HS, 9th Grade
One day, after hearing how a TED talk about facing your fear inspired her little nephew to be valiant, our teacher Clarissa decided to found a Rock Courage Club. She asked us all to email her one kind or courageous thing we did per day, upon which she would send us enthusiastic and helpful feedback. In school, our homework is to learn dates and formulas. For Clarissa, our homework is to be kind. Making a small daily act of kindness an assignment and receiving enthusiastic feedback motivated us to make kindness and courage a habit.
It was such a small assignment we found it doable. Here are some things we did:
“When I was in Las Vegas, I had 80 cents to buy a pack of gum. But when I saw a homeless person, I gave him the 80 cents because people are more important than gum.” --Justina, 11
“At school today, someone’s backpack was open and all their things fell out. I ran over to her and started picking up their things. Then, during lunch, we ate together. I realized I could make friends just by being kind, even if it’s a small act.” --Annette, 12
“Kindness plants seeds that eventually makes your mouth’s both ends sprout up.” --Iris, 12
Some of us got more ambitious. As we grew in confidence, we embarked upon courageous mini-quests and developed our courage and grit by creating social impact projects in areas we normally dared not tread.
13-year-old Joleen made a goddess dress out of plastic trash she collected from her neighbors. She’s selling these to fund community gardens to encourage everyone to grow and harvest nourishing local food: https://vimeo.com/336023207
15-year-old Katrina made a healthy dog food business after her dog developed an allergy to standard brands, which have surprising ingredients we’d never eat: https://vimeo.com/336038869
And I made us this Rock Courage video to illuminate how kids can change the world through small acts of kindness: https://vimeo.com/334235648
We never imagined we could start our own humanitarian and social entrepreneurial ventures. We started off as kids who wanted to make a dent in the world. But through our teacher’s encouragement, we bloomed into young people who could transform our communities. Won’t you join us? We need you to change the world. For more information, visit us at RockCourage.com!
<Christina Peng/ Beckman HS, 9th Grade