Iowa City High School junior Jeremiah Anthony has started something quite good, and it seems to be contagious. Jeremiah and his friends who manage the @westhighbros Twitter account send out tweets to their classmates, encouraging them with kind words and sincere compliments and in turn, inspiring others to do the same.
In an age where cyber bullying is a harsh reality for young people, this group of teenagers created their own positive counter-culture, which combats the seemingly endless negativity that is present on the internet.
Westhighbros, “the original positive account” encourages visitors and followers to reach out to them via direct message or contact through Facebook if they are needed. Jeremiah and his team of tweeters have gained national attention, being featured on the Today Show and in other news outlets.
“It’s really easy to find the nice things in people instead of the bad things” – Jeremiah Anthony
Paying-it-forward, or performing random acts of kindness has the potential to impact the development of young children in a positive way. Science Daily reported on research that shows that children who make an effort to perform acts of kindness are happier and experience greater acceptance from peers.
Researchers Kimberly Schonert-Reichl and Kristin Layous say that increasing peer acceptance is key to preventing bullying. Schonert-Reichl explains, "We show that kindness has some real benefits for the personal happiness of children but also for the classroom community.” Simply by asking students to think about how they can act kindly to others, "teachers can create a sense of connectedness in the classroom and reduce the likelihood of bullying."
Watch the video about westhighbros from the Today Show to see how this group is being the change they want to see in the world.
Has a random act of kindness ever changed your life?