From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

August 3

It was the year of the Olympics, and I had accepted a fifth-grade teaching position in Atlanta. This was a diverse group of students who were tolerant of the differences of others. We began to study the different countries that were preparing for the games and discussed how every person’s role on a team was important.

By spring, I began a project called Goals and Dreams, where each class would set a goal and all the students would participate to make it happen.

They decided to train for a 3.1-mile race the school sponsored to raise money for cancer research. Everyone was excited except Luke, the largest boy in the class. He understood that winning didn’t matter, but coming in last would be humiliating.

The day of the race I stood with the parents, greeting the students as they crossed the finish line. Soon, there was no sign of Luke or of my students and their parents. Then I heard a commotion around the final bend before the finish line.

Suddenly, I saw Luke, surrounded by all 26 fifth-graders, cheering him on. Together they crossed the finish line, screaming, with Luke as their hero.

Jodi O’Meara

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