“Kindness is My Passion”
Thirteen years ago, Malachi Coleman and his little sister were abandoned by their mother. The siblings immediately went into the foster care system. Malachi claimed this was a miserable experience fraught with abuse and poor care. A few years later, the Coleman’s decided to adopt Malachi and his sister. The Coleman’s provided a loving home and a way for the siblings to stay together. However, as Miranda attests, Malachi was a broken kid.
Today Malachi acknowledges that he was a selfish jerk who only looked out for himself throughout high school. This was a frustrating experience for the Coleman’s. They wanted Malikah to mature and become a good person. So, one day Miranda challenged Malachi to do just one positive thing for someone else. She named off over 100 gestures that he could do. He shot each suggestion down. After an exhausting conversation, Malachi agreed to open one door for one person. It appeared to have a positive impact on him.
It turns out that Malachi was a very good track athlete and an exceptional football player. While at Lincoln East High School, he was rated as the #1 high school recruit coming out of the state of Nebraska. Last year he chose to play both sports at the University of Nebraska. While at Nebraska, he and other athletes were offered NIL opportunities to earn money off their name and likeness. Malachi negotiated a deal to work with a Mexican restaurant called Muchachos. The surprising part happened next. He negotiated that the owner had to donate part of the proceeds to the foster care system to help other abandoned kids find new homes.
Joe’s Perspective: In our academic curriculum and in our athletic program, we feature the positive character trait, service. In the academic curriculum, we provide opportunities for students to give back to the community. Why? You can’t just “study” community service or “learn about” volunteering for a good cause. For years I have said, “You can’t tell a kid what it feels like to do something for somebody else, they have to experience it.” That positive feeling is what changes people. At the end of this interview, Malachi said it better than I did: “Once I realized how good it makes me feel to help other people, it made me realize it’s just something I want to continue in my life.”
Your Turn: Have you ever donated your time or money to help others? Have you ever gone out of your way to help other people? If so, how did it impact you? How did it make you feel? If not, would you consider doing so?