High school hasn’t been easy for Melanie Fry. In fact, it has been stressful managing honors classes, a part-time job, sports, health problems and family time, but through it all, her focus has been on brightening her classmates’ days with a little bit of kindness.
Fry takes being kind so seriously that she’s president of the Kindness Club. Her freshman year, Fry joined the Post Falls High School’s Kindness Club, which started as part of Rachel’s Challenge, a national anti-bullying suicide prevention movement after the death of Rachel Scott in the Columbine High School shooting.
“We basically just help spread kindness and awareness, that people do go through a lot of hardship that not everybody knows about,” Fry said. “Just to treat everybody the way you want to be treated.”
Each semester during finals club members write every single student a kind note to hopefully make them feel supported, Fry said.
“Life is hard especially as a teenager,” Fry said. “Face to face, this person looks like they’re having the time their life but deep down they’re going through things.”
Fry knows what it’s like to go through struggles that those around her aren’t aware of. Early in her high school career, Fry struggled to manage her stress and developed a hernia.
“It’s been a battle. It’s not easy,” she said. “It also taught me to grown in myself and learn that I don’t need to be that stressed out about it. I try to look at it as a blessing in disguise.”
Knowing what it’s like to have struggles, even common ones like managing her busy schedule, Fry goes out of her way to not only be kind but mentor others. Each year, she mentors freshmen through their first few months of school. She also is a leader on her tennis team and sings in the Troubadours, elite choir and was even crowned prom queen last month.
“Melanie is like the type of student who is kind and respectful and a mentor to all of her peers,” said Ashley Fuller, a counselor at Post Falls High School. “She goes above and beyond to help others.”
Academically, Fry struggled in her early school days, she said.
“When I was little in elementary school, school and I did not get along,” Fry said. “I would never do my homework.”
“It was a battle every night,” said Vicki Fry, her mother.
Then in fourth and fifth grade, she had Corey Still as her math teacher, he took extra time with her making sure she understood the material, with help from her grandfather as well, Fry flourished.
“She just took off and now she’s the kind of person who does homework first and play later,” her mother said. “I could not more proud of her.”
When she graduates, Fry will have completed more than half of the credits for her associate degree. She plans to finish her associate at North Idaho College before transferring to Lewis and Clark State College to pursue a degree in elementary education.
“That is the best thing for her I think. She just mentors other people so well,” Fuller said, of Fry’s teaching plans. “She has that personality that would make students want to learn from her.”
Fry’s focus on lifting people up will carry her far in life, Fuller said.
“If I made anybody smile because I went to kindness club day then I did my job,” Fry said. “At the end of the day, I want to make other people happy.”
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