Being an intern at Think Kindness has been a great experience so far. Picking up shoes has given me the opportunity to see how our program has impacted many schools. For example, when we went to Vaughn Middle School, we were immediately greeted by the student leaders who were in charge of the 15 days of Kindness challenge, and they were ecstatic to help load shoes — some willingly stayed after school to help.
It was great to see how the school took the materials provided for the challenge and displayed them on the walls in a creative way. Also, it was crazy to see the amount of shoes each of the schools collected, and most importantly the kindness impact Brian Williams, the founder, has presented on the students.
As an intern, we are tasked to present photos and quotes pertaining to kindness through different social media outlets and projects that pertain to collecting shoes and pushing for kindness. The biggest project of all that we were required to do involved recruiting schools around the nation to be a part of our movement that involved a 15 days of kindness challenge. Now with these challenges, it is not just about students being kind during the 15 days, but students learning that their acts of kindness are in fact measurable. The youth will be able to take the kind attributes learned and apply it through their everyday life and spread it around to others they come across, hopefully creating a ripple effect. Since these challenges show such tremendous results of how Think Kindness has influenced these communities so far, and knowing how small Juneau is, I wanted to impact random acts of Kindness in many of the schools hopefully impacting the whole city.
After contacting schools in Juneau, Alaska for two weeks with no reply, the following week, I received my first reply from the principal of Glacier Valley Elementary School. Without any hesitation, she wanted to begin the process of booking the 15 days of Kindness challenge at her school. She believed starting their 2015-2016 school year off with our program would be a great idea to impact the student body with random acts of Kindness. After booking the 15 days of kindness challenge with Glacier Valley Elementary School, I was informed that two other schools wanted us to visit their school during that time frame as well. I’m glad to have the opportunity to take a program like this, and be able to bring it to my hometown. After the schools finish their challenge, I believe people will see the huge impact our movement has made.
Kristine Bernaldo is 21 years old and is a senior at the University of Nevada, Reno obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Community Health Science. She is also an intern at Think Kindness who wanted to be involved with decreasing the rates of bullying across the nation.