High school can be a difficult time for many of us. Teens don’t always get along well with their peers— we frequently hear news stories of abuse and students struggling to fit in.
Yet sometimes we see the good side of things, headlines of young people doing the right thing and being kind to their peers… like a youth who worked hard for a wonderful act of generosity to his best friend.
When Brandon Qualls was a student at Caddo Hills High School in Norman, Arkansas, he struggled to get around the corridors. Brandon relies on a wheelchair to get around, and he used a manual wheelchair to push him around the school.
“My arms would get really tired and I would have to stop and take rests,” Brandon told KTHV.
But one of his best friends, Tanner Wilson, couldn’t stand to see his friend struggle to get around, and he was determined to help him out by buying him a motorized wheelchair.
It was a totally selfless goal: “He’s just been a really good friend and I wanted to do him a favor,” Tanner said. “I just felt like I needed to do it and I wanted to do it.”
It wouldn’t be easy, though. Electric wheelchairs are expensive, and it took Tanner two years to afford one, saving his own money by working part-time at a mechanic’s shop, according to CNN.
“For the past three years I’ve wanted to get him one and I mean, I’ve been trying,” he told KARK.
But earlier this year, when the two teens were in the middle of their high school year, he finally managed to buy the motorized chair … and set up his friend’s incredible surprise.
“They came in and my face just blew up… crying everywhere… just like ‘Wow, can’t believe he did that for me!’” Brandon recalled to KTHV.
Having the new chair has made life so much easier for Brandon. “It’s awesome,” he said. “I may hit a few doors but it’s worth it!”
He’s actually getting around so quickly now that his teacher, Ginger Wray, even made a flame design for the new chair.
But doing the good deed has also meant a lot to Tanner. “[He’s] had some bad experiences over the last year, so him being able to help somebody else has really brought him out — being able to know that he made a difference,” his mother Colleen Carmack told CNN.
“And I can see a difference in him — like wanting to get out and do more.”
“There’s many people out here that have troubles and need a little bit of help,” Tanner told KTHV. “Sometimes they can’t do it for themselves.”
Tanner is often asked if all the hard work and money savings were worth it, but the teen doesn’t give it a second thought.
“Kids ask me was it worth it was it worth it? Yeah, 100 percent.”