This graduating class had a special surprise for one special student

Jacob Greenwalt graduated from Skyview High School this week, and his classmates put together the most amazing surprise for him. We’re seriously in awe over the kind gesture that his friends and everyone else made to show their support for such a great guy.

Jacob has spina bifida, a condition in which a baby’s spine doesn’t form properly and requires physical therapy and surgery. He has undergone many surgeries and chronic pain as a result. However, Jacob doesn’t let it get him down: His childhood friend, Jake Haynes, says that Jacob always makes the best of any situation and inspires others with his positivity. “Just seems like he always has a smile on his face,” Jake said. “Even through his surgeries, it just seemed like he’s going through the hallways and smiling and everyone wanted to help him…for the kind of kid he is.”

That kind of day-by-day positivity is a sign of Jacob’s inner strength. It can be hard enough to maintain positivity in the face of everyday problems (I recently had a day ruined by running out of milk, for example), so Jacob’s relentless, mindful choice to exist in a positive space is truly inspiring.

When asked about his philosophy, Jacob said, “Believe in yourself, believe that you can do it and you will.” Amazing, right?

So it will come as no surprise that the other students were excited to give Jacob a big thank-you for the positive impact he’s had in their lives. At the ceremony, Jacob said, “I noticed a lot of kids dropping something into a box or a jar. Then all of a sudden I hear Jake Haynes call my name. Everyone is looking at me and I’m like, ‘Am I supposed to go up there?’”

He sure was. When Jacob walked up on stage, Jake gave a little speech about Jacob’s attitude fortitude. Then, he told Jacob that the student body had collected the start of a scholarship fund for him. Jacob teared up, of course. “Just being able to see how much those kids cared about me was like, wow,” he said. “When I got up there on the stage, I was a river, I just bawled.” Those tears got a standing ovation. Literally everything about this story is perfect.

Jake, a popular player on the football team, said that Jacob is “one of the kids I looked up to. I’ve always wanted to be like him.” Jacob, in turn, was awed by that — “everyone looked up to him,” Jacob said. These brothers-with-similar-names have made our day today, Jake for his thoughtful expression of support and friendship and Jacob for his wholehearted goodness. Happy graduation, guys! (Images via here.)