Valedictorian posts anonymously to Instagram to make 657 classmates feel special 

Valedictorian posts anonymously to Instagram to make 657 classmates feel special 

It’s one thing to offer encouraging words to the high school classmates that you know.  But imagine going out of your way to write something nice to all 657 students at your school. Konner Sauve, an 18-year-old senior and valedictorian at East Valley High School in Yakima, Washington, says he came up with the idea during

It’s one thing to offer encouraging words to the high school classmates that you know.  But imagine going out of your way to write something nice to all 657 students at your school.

Konner Sauve, an 18-year-old senior and valedictorian at East Valley High School in Yakima, Washington, says he came up with the idea during a family road trip last summer in Oregon:  “I knew I wanted to do something different, something to lift people up, but didn’t want to make a huge thing about it.  Then I figured out a way to be subtle while still inspiring them and making them feel about about themselves.”

So Konner decided to use Instagram to send personalized messages to each student.  Obviously, he didn’t know them all and had to do some research using the yearbook as his guide to what sports they played and what clubs they joined.

Over the course of 11 months, he managed to upload a photo of each student along with words that would make a positive difference in their lives.  The posts ranged from praising classmate Melissa  Garris “for her spectacular outlook on life” to congratulating athlete Jarred Nidiffer on his running skills.  Konner even offered comforting words to a student who had recently lost her father:  “I know students have gone through things and this was my way of being there for them.”

Since his messages were sent anonymously, and before he knew that he would be the class valedictorian, Konner says he only thought it fair and fitting to fess up at the end of his valedictorian speech.  

Now that the identity behind the Instagram account, “thebenevolentone3” is known, and Konner will be attending Gonzaga University in the fall, students at his high school have already created two new Instagram accounts to keep the gift of kind words going.

Little did Konner know the kind of widespread media attention his personalized messages would receive.  He says, “I’m glad I had the opportunity to inspire people and continue positivity.  After all, that was my initial goal.”

A job well done!  Good for You, Konner!

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