A Charlottesville middle school student was surprised Friday morning with the Kid Hero Award. The award is given out by the Sexual Assault Resource Agency to a student who helps bring an end to bullying, while excelling in school and setting an example for others.
Nik Schmidt is an eighth-grade student at the Community Public Charter School in Charlottesville. He was nominated by staff there for the award and was chosen out of a pool of students across central Virginia. Teachers say Schmidt exemplifies the qualities the award stands for including courage, intervening in stressful situations, and empathy.
Friday morning, Schmidt’s parents and SARA’s president, Nancy Coates, surprised him in class and awarded him a certificate, to the applause of his peers.
He says there are several things this year that may have made teachers take notice. "Well, I’ve done a lot this year - to respect everybody, work my hardest, and try my best to meet new people and get everything done and accomplished this year," he said.
Teachers say Schmidt is well-liked by his peers which allows him to be a school leader.
This year, he joined the Burley Middle School basketball team, where he didn't know anyone, but nonetheless became a leader there as well. As part of the award, Schmidt will receive five free private sessions of coaching in basketball, his favorite sport.
This is the third year SARA has given out the award.