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Students build friendship over shared lunch

Posted at 8:11 PM, Oct 03, 2018

A simple act of kindness can make a big difference in someone's life.

October marks bullying prevention month, and a few students at Palm Beach Gardens High School are the perfect example of building friendships instead of tearing others down.

Rachel Dasilva befriended Cameron Wallace last year when they both had pretty lonely lunches. They bonded over a game of Connect Four and quickly realized they connected in many other ways. 

Cameron says, "when we first met we were both nervous we wouldn't like each other but when we started talking we had a lot of things in common." 

Rachel was happy to see their friendship grow and says she's become more outgoing since befriending Cameron. "Having Cameron tell me that I'm like a best friend to him, and him just saying all these good things about me, I feel really good about it."

She adds, "you're in school, you are stressed out and being with Cameron at lunch and playing games it definitely takes your mind off those things."

Rachel says a simple act of kindness can go a long way, "We do need to spread this love, we do need to stop the hate everywhere, especially in school. I see so many kids sitting by themselves and we do need this love everywhere, especially friendships like Cameron and I and Isiah and Madison." 

She hopes others will learn what a simple act can do. "It's a good feeling knowing that you are making someone happy, knowing that you are making their day, just saying hi to someone. That's the best thing. If you know someone is down, just say something."  

Around the same time their friendship blossomed, so did Madison and Isaiah's, also sharing lunch together.

Isaiah says, "I talk to Madison about things I won't talk to anyone else about. She's just awesome, that's all I can say. She really is."

For Madison, it was the instant connection she too, was looking to find. "Friend groups can be hard, and you don't fit in sometimes but with him, I felt instantly fine and myself and not being someone I wasn't, she says"

They spend time together outside of school too, going to movies and out to eat.

Madison says she doesn't do this for attention, she has a genuine friendship and connection with Isaiah. "We kinda just passed the obvious and just jumped right in," she says.

The four of them even went to homecoming together last weekend. Isaiah asked Madison and Rachel invited Cameron. Madison says, "it was so much fun to just live in the moment of homecoming."

For Cameron, "it felt pretty cool because I didn't really think I would go to homecoming."

All four students say they have dealt with bullying in the past, and these friendships have changed their lives.

As the girls get ready to graduate this year, they know that doesn't mean the end of these meaningful friendships.

Madison says, "I'm gonna come back, I'm gonna sit with this guy at lunch, I'm gonna do anything I can to make sure he's happy and Cameron's happy. It's just remarkable to me that I can make an impact like this but I never knew that the littlest things would make the impact possible." 

So whether it is sitting with someone new at lunch or just a kind word, the Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent is encouraging everyone to perform acts of kindness during this bullying prevention month.