From Harrisburg, meet Pennsylvania student leader Rashaad, Be Strong’s September 2021 Student of the Month!
“I will stand up for the kids that need to be helped. I want to give back to the community.”
13-year-old Rashaad is a Be Strong Student State Representative and friend to all. At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, millions of students began experiencing isolation, unable to see friends and getting accustomed to virtual learning for the first time.
Rashaad took it upon himself to call his friends who didn’t have siblings so they had someone to relate to, someone their age to talk to. And while most teens chat about things like video games, Rashaad makes sure to check on his friends’ overall wellbeing. He offers a listening ear and advice on online learning, missing friends and dealing with other personal issues.
Be Strong Student Representatives are continually challenged – not only to be there for others – but to hone their own relational and emotional skills through interactive activities resilience training. “Be Strong has taught me many important values and to think before I enter different situations,” explained Rashaad.
He takes initiative to welcome others into his group of friends and comfort those in need of a friend. When Rashaad comes across another young person who’s facing a challenge or seems down in the dumps, he’s the first to reach out with open arms.
“Sometimes when I see a kid whose feelings are hurt and they’re just sitting there crying, I go up to them and ask how they’re doing and if they wanna hang out with me and my friends,” Rashaad said.
Rashaad chooses to be strong by evaluating his community’s needs so he can help and make a difference. He loves learning more about how his community operates so he can go about helping his neighbors in the best way possible.
“If I had the chance, I would tell the whole world to love each other and work together as a community because we are all equal,” Rashaad shared. “We must overlook hate and differences and look at each other’s strengths and specialness. If we do that, we can make our community better.”