After learning that a freshman at their high school was being bullied and eating lunch at school alone, a group of kind seniors decided to join him for lunch and make him their friend.
After his first few days at Reidsville Senior High School in North Carolina, 14-year-old freshman Caleb Wrenn was having difficulty making friends. He found himself eating lunches alone, and students in school began bullying him, sadly calling him “too short” and a “loser”. His older sister, Leah, sent him a text message asking him how school was going, and he shared with her his struggles.
“Hey how was your first day of high school??” Leah asked.
“It was good. I sat alone at lunch and got lost three times tho,” Caleb replied.
“Awww, why???” she asked.
“Because I don’t really have friends. Nobody will eat lunch with me,” he shared. “…they think I’m a loser because I’m short. I sit alone to ignore them.”
Moved and saddened by her little brother’s situation, Leah wrote a post online sharing their conversation of his first week at school and asked her friends to help encourage him and to let him know that they think he’s a cool human being.
“Retweet to let my baby brother know that he is cool before I have to pull up to RHS,” she wrote.
The post was shared more than 17,000 times online, and other students at Reidsville High learned about the difficulty a freshman named Caleb was going through. That week, a group of kind seniors found Caleb at lunch and decided to sit with him and become his friends.
“We decided to catch Caleb off guard at lunch and have lunch with him, show him around the school and make sure he was OK and give him new friends,” Demontez Canada, a senior at Reidsville High, said.
Demontez himself had been in similar situations in the past at school, and he could empathize with Caleb’s feelings and situation.
“I felt like I had to make a stand and make sure he was okay because he is a freshman and he shouldn’t have to go through this his first year of high school,” Demontez said. “Somebody has to make a stand, and I felt like I had to do it, and I have had the same situations.”
“Things needed to change. It’s not all that bad here, but it can be better, and I think nobody should have to deal with that stuff. You should always be humble, no matter what the situation is, no matter what everybody is going through, you should make sure they’re okay.”
Demontez and his friends rearranged their lunch schedules so that they could all join Caleb for lunch each day.
“I feel like everybody should be treated the same and nobody is perfect, everybody should be able to get along and be friends. Here at Reidsville HS, it’s a community,” he said.
Caleb was all smiles and deeply happy that a group of cool older students had made him their friend.
“They’re literally the most awesome people I’ve ever met,” he said. “I was really glad they came over. It’s made things better for sure. It felt really nice to know that there are people who care.”
Caleb explained that he has felt like an “outsider” before, but that it feels really good to have friends.
“I’ve always been used to kind of being the outsider, the loner, the outcast, but it feels kind of good to have friends,” he shared. “The good part is that you always have somebody to talk to if you ever need anything.”
Demontez and Tyvon, who befriended Caleb, are members of the Boys to Men Club at Reidsville Senior High School. The club helps young men become caring and responsible adults, preparing them for adulthood through a focus on academic performance and community service.
“I was raised to help people. My mama didn’t raise me to do nothing, so when I see stuff like that, then I need to help because I wouldn’t want anybody to do that to me, and it happened to me before when I first moved to North Carolina,” Tyvon said. “I didn’t have any friends, I used to sit by myself, so I know how he feels.”
Tyvon feels blessed that they were able to reach out and help a struggling freshman feel accepted.
“It makes me feel blessed,” he said. “I’m just glad that he has friends that he can count on, that he can talk to, and that he can know that we’ve got his back.”
Demontez, Tyvon and friends, with the help of the school’s administration, are starting a school program called “We Love You” with the goal of extending this same level of friendship to their other classmates who may be struggling. They believe this group can help make a positive change in their school and in their community.
The young men and Caleb now enjoy spending time together, joking around and having a good time.
“He’s goofy, smart, like Caleb has a really big brain,” Demontez laughed, “but he’s taught us a lot. A lot about ourselves, I think.”
“Everybody should be like this,” Caleb said about his new group of friends. Demontez nodded in agreement.
Caleb’s sister was also deeply grateful for their kindness in helping her younger brother.
“This means the world. Y’all have no clue how much this means to us!” she said.
“You’re our brother,” Demontez said to Caleb. “You have a lot of best friends now.”
You are Loved.
Watch this short clip of Caleb meeting his new friends: