Everyone at one time has had a nasty note left on their vehicle, or maybe someone pens a negative letter about them on social media – or even on paper – but one Everett High freshman took the opposite approach – notes of encouragement.
On Feb. 6, members of the school newspaper, The Crimson Times, began to get word from students that scores of Post-It notes had been found on lockers. Written on those notes were messages of encouragement, or uplifting ideas.
Immediately, the Times Tweeted out the news of some mysterious person leaving anonymous notes of encouragement on lockers all over school. Crimson Times writer Kemilly Pinto began looking into the story, and found that 35 notes had been left in one day.
Notes encouraged students to compliment five people and then pass it on to another person. Others were more specific.
“Hey, buddy!” read one note. “Greater things are to come! Your current circumstance doesn’t define you. You can go from living in the projects to living in a mansion. All you need is the right attitude.”
For quite some time, the mysterious person and the Times kept the note writer a secret.
However, on Weds., Feb. 12, they staged a big “reveal,” where Freshman Philip Fonseca was unveiled as the mysterious captain of encouragement. And it all happened in front of television cameras, as one of the Boston television stations traveled to Everett High to pick up the story for its noon broadcast.
Fonseca accepted the acclaim with his mother present, and was humble about the praise. He said anyone can learn to be positive, and encouraged people to lift one another up and not tear each other down.
On Friday, Mayor Carlo DeMaria presented him with a Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of the City. So, though one mystery was solved, another greater challenge was issued to the Everett community.