The Do The Right Thing initiative is a way for OBPD to stay connected with the local middle school students.
Doing the right thing when no one is looking can prove difficult for some, but that's exactly what 11 Ormond Beach Middle School students did, earning them recognition by the Ormond Beach Police Department on Wednesday, Nov. 20.
OBPD and the Ormond Beach Police Athletic League held a celebration luncheon for these students as part of their involvement with the Do The Right Thing chapter, an initiative that began in Miami and rewards students who have made positive actions.
Before signing all their certificates, Ormond Beach Police Chief Jesse Godfrey read about the actions that led these students to recognition.
“Some of the acts that those kids did — acts of compassion, kindness, courage — at that young age, just gives me hope for the future,' Godfrey said.
Some of the students recognized included Colton Haley, who wrote down phrases and words in Spanish so he could talk to a new student from Guatemala; Julianna Mumm, who routinely stays after class to help an autistic classmate pack up; and Micah Williams, who took a stand against bullying when he stopped a classmate from dragging another student down the stairs by his backpack.
The program has been active in Ormond Beach for about 20 years, said OBPAL Director Lisa Messersmith. She said the fact the Police Department honors young people who make good choices helps reinforce that in the community.
“It’s a ripple effect for positive choices and I think that’s amazing," Messersmith said.
The student's actions are also a byproduct of good parenting, Godfrey said. He added that the citizenship displayed by the students make him proud.
“That’s what makes Ormond Beach, to me, one of the best communities around," Godfrey said. "It’s programs like this.”