94-Year-Old Encourages Middles Schoolers With Fist Bumps And Life Advice Each Day

"This is exactly the kind of love and support our middle schoolers need."

Gina Michelle was in for a pleasant surprise when she dropped her daughter, Audrey, off at school. The mom from California explained in a Facebook post that Audrey is in her first year of middle school. She likes to be dropped off at the corner so she can walk a bit and talk to a "cute old man."

Michelle was intrigued. Audrey explained, "He stands at the steps where you drop me off and encourages all the students as they walk in. He talks about kindness and gives us advice and fist bumps! It's the best part of the day!'"


Sure enough, Michelle saw the man standing outside Marina Village Middle School drop-off in El Dorado Hills with a cluster of students surrounding them.

The man turned out to be 94-year-old Wally Richardson. And he has been offering encouragement, advice and fist bumps for years.

In a Love What Matters essay, the mom-of-four reveals she was able to hear Richardson and was "lucky enough to catch one of his infamous fist bumps."

She wrote, "For a parent, knowing you are doing the best you can, having a person like Wally reiterate the love you have for your kids is very encouraging. As I sat there listening to what he was telling the kids, most of them were able to recite those sentiments back."

"You know that he is making a difference because the kids ARE listening to him."

 "Hopefully as they move along their day, they remember those words and make better choices then they would have if they hadn't come across him."

She continues that she wishes there were more people like Richardson in the world because it would probably a kinder, more positive place.

"This is exactly the kind of love and support our middle schoolers need," she stated on Facebook.

Richardson told ABC10, he started spreading messages of kindness with his wife, Jenny, 10 years ago, using bookmarks. and that it has grown from there.

The veteran revealed that his wife isn't able to walk, so she cannot join him at the middle school in the morning, but he still hopes he makes a positive lasting impression on the students.  

"You're different personalities, but you have to learn to give and take. What I do when I get really upset about something, I just walk away and let my anger disappear because it's just an emotion," WLTX19 reported he told the kids. "Anytime you have a heated emotion, walk away from it."

Richardson is currently penning a book called "What You Do Makes You What You Are" and the middle school even has a mural dedicated to some of his famous sayings including "Be kind, whenever possible."

After the story went viral, Michelle wrote on Facebook on August 22 about how overwhelmed she was with the positive response. "As you all know, encouragement in any form is my JAM! I am so very happy for all the smiles our story has brought, I am learning that good things happen when you share good news," she wrote.

Facebook commenters are also sharing their and their kids' experiences with Richardson:

(H/T: PopSugar)


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.