8th Grader Who Helped Bullied Friend Among Students Honored for ‘Doing the Right Thing'

Do The Right Thing Inc. has recognized students across Miami-Dade County for more than 30 years.

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There are many students doing the right thing inside their classrooms, and that's especially true in Miami-Dade County.

Several of them were recognized Thursday.

Do The Right Thing of Miami Inc. and Miami Police honored 10 students out of hundreds of nominees for doing the right thing.

"We live in very difficult circumstances, and it gives me a sense of hope to see these young students at such a young age that are making a difference and do the right thing,” said Ariadna Espinosa, the Executive Director of Do The Right Thing of Miami Inc.

Do The Right Thing Inc. has recognized students across Miami-Dade County for more than 30 years. The program has impacted more than 250,000 youth in the Greater Miami area.

Anthony Gerald III, an 8th grader at Academy of Excellence, was one of the students recognized Thursday.

"It makes me proud of myself, not even myself, but it makes me proud of my parents for raising me this way,” Gerald said.

Gerald said a group of boys were teasing his friend for not having a bed and having to sleep on the floor. He told his dad, and they both teamed up with the Miami Police Community Relations Section and surprised his friend with a brand new bed, as well as a comforter set, pillows, a matching throw blanket and a basket.

"He was getting bullied on the Internet,” Gerald said. “He was getting cyberbullied, and he was hurting inside, so I had to give him a bed."

Gerald's grandmother said it warms her heart, not just seeing his grandson, but other young people doing what's right.

"I'm very proud of him,” Rosa Brown said. “You ask him to do something, he'll do it for you. But he's excellent."

As for Gerald, he has a message for anyone struggling or going through a tough situation.

"Never give up,” Gerald said. “It may be hard, but never give up."

Several months ago, he overheard a teacher and student discussing a ninth grader that was being bullied because of the shoes and clothes that he wore.

He told his dad about the young man and knew that his dad had a brand-new pair of Jordans that he hadn’t worn yet. He asked his dad if it was OK for him to give those shoes to a young man in need and his dad obliged.

Driven by their passion to help others, Gerald and his father started an organization called Fathers Uplifting Kids to impact children that do not have a father present in their life.

Last month, Liam Martinez, a student at Florida City Elementary, reported a group of students making threats in the boy’s bathroom with what looked like a BB gun.

It turned out to be a toy gun, but Liam was recognized for prioritizing safety.

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