Character Award Winner – Frendarious Willis | Minnesota 2017

I have the privilege of nominating Frendarious
Willis for the Character Award. I’ve known Frendarious throughout the 4
years that he’s been in the building. Both as a Link Leader but also on our Football
Team. I don’t know I was kind of shocked. Like, wow, it was me. It didn’t really hit me until like, like right
now. Met him actually in the weight room. Started sharing his life with me and everything. We got a little closer. Uh, my first impression of Frendarious would
be that he just has this charisma about him. I don’t think that there’s a person in
this building who doesn’t know who Frendarious is. Our school climate is shifting towards a community
of respect and I think it’s because of the leaders like Frendarious contributing to that
change. When I see him walking around new students, Giving them tours That’s usually how he introduces himself. And he’ll like, reconnect with that person
later on to make sure that they’re adjusting to the school. He’s real with people. And he’s like, “Listen, stop being disrespectful”
or “you’re better than that”. Well, just at practice I’ve seen him help
younger kids in a positive way. it’s like he’s almost like that big brother
type to step in and help that person out. Because, I know how it feels and like, I don’t
like that feeling. I don’t like to feel lonely. Like left out. And I’m sure other people don’t like it
either, so, I just try to include everyone in everything. Frendarious hasn’t had, you know, that easy
kind of lifestyle. He’s had to go through a lot of transitions
and uncertainty. When he started opening up about his life,
about his past, you know, not everyone had the best childhood growing up but from his
progress I’ve seen over the past few years; huge turnaround. I think what sets Frendarious apart is that
this hasn’t been an easy role for him and that’s what I think has been really cool
on my end to see is that over the four years, he’s developed into a leader. I’ve seen him come through the ranks. He’s a leader on the field, and on the mat
and just all around in the building. We’ve been going through this thing this
year called “Kindness Matters”. Like random acts of kindness like helping
someone out in the lunch line, helping out the new kid in school. Just like small stuff that no one’s going
to notice but it impacts that person. I remember one time he brought me a student
that was crying. And he was like, “here she is, she needs
help.” and later on I was like, “who was that student?” he was like, “I don’t
know, I just found her, and she was crying and I knew she needed somebody. And that’s just kind of who he is. He’s genuinely concerned about everybody
in the building. He really is grateful. And that he really does embrace the positive
things in his life, the people that he has. Well, he’s given me a different perspective. Like I said, I look at him like he’s one
of my sons. You know, actually, I’ve told him that. I’ve said, “hey what’s up son?”. He calls me his school mom all the time. He comes to me with problems. Personally, he’s like a son. That he’s kind of like a member of the family. He’s probably one of the best kids that
I’ve met in a long time… I’m Frendarious. This is who I am. It’s who I’m always
going to be.

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