Fifty youngsters received a positive message Wednesday along with a gift bag from Milagros Romero at the Frederiksted Boys & Girls Club of the Virgin Islands.
The program began with Emmanuelle Perer, club director, taking students through an exercise of what negative comments could cause.
Each student was given a piece of paper and asked to crinkle it when they heard a negative remark. She then went on to say, “I am stupid.” “I am fat.” “My hair is awful.”
Then she asked students to unwrinkle the paper with each positive comment she made and said things like, “I am beautiful.”
Students were to make the paper smooth with each positive response. Students responded, “It is impossible.”
The message then for the rest of the program was why students should be making positive comments. Romero emphasized the youngsters needed to put themselves in the place of other people, understanding why they were suffering.
She used as an example of an outer shirt she was wearing. She pointed out that it would be easy for classmates to make fun of the fact that that the shirt was wrinkled. She put forth the story that maybe someone was wearing a wrinkled shirt because their mother was sick and had to be taken to the hospital that morning.
She then buttoned up the shirt showing that it was too small for her. She said that youngsters might want to think about the possibility that the youngster wearing the shirt too small was doing so because her/his father had lost his job and could no longer afford to buy clothes for his children.
She said that the youngster coming to school with the blouse too small or the shirt too wrinkled might come to school hoping for someone to be nice to her or him. Negative comments could exacerbate the youngster’s bad feelings.
“Instead of making life easier for our friends, we make it difficult,” Romero said.
“Just because we don’t all look the same does not mean we are not connected.”
Romero, who suffers from a speech defect that sometimes makes her voice almost inaudible, that her voice problems did not stop her from speaking out and helping others.
She said, “We all have the power to make a difference in other people’s life. We have super power.”
The gift bags handed out to students by Romero, whose company is Lotus Beyouty, included essentials like tooth paste, skin cream and hair ties.