Isabella Line will always remember the words of her great-grandmother. “Can’t never did anything,” she’d tell Isabella, now a junior at Mill Valley High School in Shawnee, Kan. And now, Isabella is taking that advice and putting it to good use for the betterment of her school and the lives of her peers
“That phrase reminds me that I can do something if I just put one foot in front of the other and prioritize what has to get done first, then second and so on,” said Isabella.
With her can-do attitude, Isabella is choosing to do something about a cause near to her heart: teen suicide and bullying. After a stretch of teen suicides impacted the area last year, Isabella decided to establish a new kind of spirit week at Mill Valley—one aimed at shining a light on the good and positive.
Called Consider Kindness Week, the weeklong event was held in April with each of the five school days aimed at bringing hope and joy to the MVHS students. Through activities such as writing encouraging words on Post-Its and sticking them to students’ lockers and allowing students to submit anonymous compliments to one another, Isabella helped to encourage the 1,300 students by letting them know their own worth and value.
“I’ve always been a big believer in teens building each other up rather than tearing one another down, and I’ve always been a cheerleader for the underdog,” said Isabella, who participates in the Mill Valley dance team, Mill Valley TV broadcasts and in the Mill Valley Outfitters organization. “My goal with Consider Kindness has been to encourage others to shine a light on the good stuff, hoping that encourages more acts of kindness so we see it repeated over and over and change the tide of our culture to be more considerate of one another and less divided.”
While the initial Consider Kindness Week was a success, Isabella hopes it is just the beginning. Creating social media accounts to promote the cause, Isabella is asking others to share acts of kindness that they see or experience by using the hashtag #considerkindness or by sending the story to @Consider_Kindness on Instagram where she can share it with followers. She also hopes to see the concept of Consider Kindness Week catch on at other schools and is willing to be a resource of information for any that are interested.
If we are teaching, expecting and modeling inclusive, kind behavior in schools at a young age, think about the impact that can have on the teens and adults growing up in our culture,” said Isabella, who also plans to compete for Miss Kansas’ Outstanding Teen in June. “If less children felt left out on the playground and more people considered what they wrote on social media before they hit ‘post,’ that could have a huge impact. Could it impact the rates of violence in school or change the trajectory of teen suicide rates? I don’t know. But I know that being more kind in words and actions as a society can only help and not hurt.”
For her outstanding contributions to her school and community, Isabella was chosen to be honored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City and Sporting KC as the Blue KC Sporting Samaritan for the month of May.
“We’re pleased to honor Isabella as a Blue KC Sporting Samaritan,” said Christina Lively, Christina Lively, Department Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Blue KC. “What she’s done at Mill Valley is exceptional and will have lasting value in the lives of her peers, and she is very deserving of this honor.”
With Blue KC Sporting Samaritans being honored monthly at Children’s Mercy Park during Sporting home games, fans are encouraged to nominate students and teachers like Isabella who are making a positive impact on their schools and communities by using the form online at https://www.sportingkc.com/bluekc.