CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. - A very deserving eighth grader was so thrilled to be given his school's Kindness Award on Thursday that he ran, skipped and danced across the stage.
On Thursday, a sweet video from the Mill Creek Middle School's graduation ceremony shows Christopher Yancy, 15, barely able to contain his excitement as he was called up to receive his special award. His classmates were just as excited and broke into loud cheers and applause.
Yancy was born with Down syndrome and took special-needs classes at Mill Creek. He's headed to high school next year, but not before the perfect send-off at his graduation.
Channel 2 Action News reached out to Yancy's mother, Brenda Page, to see what the big moment meant to her and her son.
"It touches my heart that he got it for kindness," Page said. "It means more to me than straight A's or perfect attendance."
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Page said she's been thrilled with how Yancy's class has embraced her "social butterfly."
"He loves people, and I just think that's wonderful," Page said. "I'm so blessed to have so many students embrace him and love him back. Not just the students, but the parents."
Page said the Kindness Award is perfect for her son, who always seems to know when someone needs a smile or a hug. Page said her son's positive attitude is contagious.
"The boy wakes up with a smile on his face every single day," Page said. "How many people can say their teenager is always happy?"
In the fall, both mother and son will be at River Ridge High School. While Yancy was a student at Mill Creek, Page was president of the PTA and worked with students with special needs at the school store. Page will move on to become PTA president at River Ridge, where she hopes to keep working with the special-needs community.
For now, Yancy is just thrilled to be a middle school graduate.
"He was so excited," Page said. "He kept saying, 'Mommy, I'm graduated!'"
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