Paying it Forward

Ian Spetnagel, a 7th grade Skinner student, just received the “Nugget For a Day” award for exemplary sportsmanship while playing on Skinner’s football team this past season. Nominated by Mr. Dehning (Skinner’s 8th grade social studies teacher and football coach), Ian will:

  • Attend a Nugget’s practice, meet all of the players and take photos with them
  • Take a tour of the Pepsi Center
  • Receive a Nugget’s jersey
  • Receive eight tickets, in a catered suite, for that evening’s game

As it turns out, Ian recently changed my life – and the lives of others I don’t even know. An outstanding student, Ian went the movies about a month ago and was inspired to purchase tickets for people behind him in line. “Paying it forward,” he said.

Ian’s act of random kindness motivated me to pay it forward at a CU Buffs basketball game the following weekend – I paid for drinks for the couple behind me in the concession line. The gentleman at the game was really surprised and happy when I told him I was only following one of our student’s lead by paying it forward.  A few minutes later, his wife found me and assured me, “I’ll pay it forward, too.”

Doing an unprompted good deed for another is something all of us can do – young or old, rich or poor, outgoing or shy. If you have an elderly neighbor, why not shovel his sidewalk in the morning after finishing your own?  You could pick up trash you see on the ground so our kids grow up in a clean neighborhood.  When you see a young mother struggling to carry babies and package, lend her a hand.  Anyone can pay it forward – it’s just a matter of thinking about it and doing it!

Thanks to Ian’s example, I know paying it forward has become part of my everyday life. I hope it spreads like wildfire across the Skinner community. Way to go, Ian!

-Mr. James Duran, Skinner Student Advisor & Athletic Director


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