HOUSTON, Texas — Middle school can be the toughest place in the world.
“People were making fun of me,” Joel Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez, a sixth-grader, has never owned expensive shoes, and other kids were bullying him. Many of us know what that’s like. Amin Emamalikhani, an eighth-grader, saw it happening.
“I just wanted to step up for him, so I went up to him and I showed him a picture of the shoes that I had, and I asked him ‘do you like these shoes?’ He said ‘yeah.’ I told him, ‘I got you tomorrow,'” Emamalikhani said.
“I thought he was lying, but he actually brought them for real,” Rodriguez said. “I was really excited, because I never had the Jordan shoes. I felt real happy.”
Emamalikhani said he had only worn his Air Jordans once or twice before he outgrew them.
“They said that the shoes look cool and shiny. Someone said they wanted to trade them, but I didn’t want to because he’s my friend,” Rodriguez said.
“He’s popular now, I guess you could say,” Emamalikhani said.
“There’s kind of a bad rap about school and the 21st century, but we see a lot of really nice kids and we see kindness happen a lot more than people hear about,” Emily Aufarber, assistant principal said.
This story is proof that sometimes, one helping hand can make all the difference.
“I even told him, as long as you remember this day for the rest of your life — remember that no matter how many bad people there are, there are always people that will help you in the long run,” Emamalikhani said.