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Teen Notices Some Students Aren’t Confident Because of Their Clothes - Steps in With the Best Response
Teen Transforms School Closet Into Resource for Classmates in Need  
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Teen Notices Some Students Aren’t Confident Because of Their Clothes - Steps in With the Best Response

Chase Neyland-Square wanted to bring equality to his Louisiana school.

It’s never too young to start making a difference. And one 13-year-old boy proved that in his Louisiana middle school back when he came up with a brilliant idea to promote equality and the importance of feeling good.

What an Eight-Grader Did for His Fellow Classmates

students clapping hands in a classroom
Photo by Max Fischer

In 2019, Chase Neyland-Square wanted to make a difference at Port Allen Middle School. He understood that he had access to things that some of his fellow students didn’t, and he believed in the importance of everyone feeling good about themselves. So he set up a special closet behind the school’s stage called PAM’s Pantry.

“I know that everybody doesn’t have things and I’m fortunate to have things that other people don’t have,” he told local CBS affiliate WAFB. “I look at it as sometimes, how would I feel in this situation?”

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The closet is stocked with clothes, shoes, coats, and other essentials, as well as a variety of school supplies like markers, pencils, and binders. All of it is possible through word of mouth and community donations.

“I wanted to make a difference in the school because I wanted everybody to feel equal,” he continued. “Sometimes kids have less confidence in the classroom because of their apparel or what they have on.”

How One Boy Impacted People by Spreading His Love

a rack of clothes
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch

According to Neyland-Square’s mom, Amanda Square, her son has always had a big heart. In an interview with Good Morning America, she revealed that in the past he’s hosted dinners for senior citizens and once donated 700 pairs of socks to homeless people.

“He seems to have a great passion for people,” she told the publication. “It makes me proud because we’re very blessed and I always encourage him to bless others.”

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“My favorite part about helping with the pantry is getting types of clothes and sorting them out to give to various people,” Neyland-Square also revealed.

It makes me feel good because I know that I can make a difference in my school.

Chase Neyland-Square

PAM’s Pantry wasn’t just a random idea; it was born out of encouragement through a larger summer program at the school called SPARK (Student Program for Arts, Recreation, and Knowledge). According to principal Jessica Major, the program was launched to help inspire and empower young leaders and students to make a difference in their community. Through it, students pitch ideas about how they can help others at the school, where many students come from low-income households.

“We really want the kids to feel like they have somewhere to go when they need something,”
Major told GMA. “We only have 215 kids so we're able to get to know them really well... and try to help them where we can.”

In the interview with WAFB, Major added that so far other ideas have included lunch with the principal to celebrate good grades, extended recess, and more library books.

How One Boy Proved the Importance of Empowering the Youth

Alex shute q6m52fj9pqw unsplash edited scaled
Photo by Alex Shute on Unsplash

As this story proves, it’s never too early to start encouraging and empowering kids to think about their communities and ways to give back. That could be by asking kids how they think they can make a difference, donating your time together at a local charity, or organizing some kind of food or clothing drive.

Leading by example and doing some of these things together is also motivating, plus it’s just a good excuse to spend some time together while doing something worthwhile. At the end of the day, it will instill strong morals and a sense of community within your family, but it could also go a long way towards building empathy, compassion, and gratefulness.  

After all, kids are the future. Deciding how we want to try and model and inspire that future is up to us.


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