Middle school can be a trying time, as kids test the boundaries and explore their newfound freedom. It is a time when fitting in and going along with the crowd might seem like the easiest thing to do. But, for Shepherd Middle School student, Philip Smith, doing what is right is more important.
“When I see someone being bullied, I step between the bully and the other person,” Smith said.
Smith, 13, was nominated by one of his teachers, Kristi Bush, to win a mountain bike from Barberi Law’s Bikes for Kids program.
“Philip is very kind to other students and very respectful to teachers,” Bush wrote in her nomination. “He shares concerns about other students and honestly wants to help them make good decisions. He takes to heart what teachers and other speakers say about student safety and responsible decisions, and he asks questions about how he can help other students.”
Gail Stallkamp, Smith’s mom, was completely shocked when she found out he had won a bike. She didn’t even know Bush had nominated him.
“I’m always glad to hear people say good things about him, and recognize how hard I worked to raise him,” Stallkamp said.
Smith said it makes him feel good to help other people.
“It helps them out, so they don’t have to do it all by themselves,” he said.
Allison Quast-Lents, owner of Motorless Motion in downtown Mt. Pleasant, helps winners choose a bike, helmet and lock when they visit her store.
“Getting to help a hardworking kid pick out the bicycle they won is the favorite part of my week, every week,” Quast-Lents said. “I love hearing the stories of how they helped make our community a better place.”
Smith loves to be outside, and he’s looking forward to riding his new bike to his friend’s house this summer.