Security and Kindness for Teens

If you need to feel better and see some real human kindness, come hang out with our security guys after school. As the kids come into Main Library for our afternoon activities, Jimmy high-fives every one. And he talks to them and cares.

“How was your day?” Jimmy asks. “It’s the weekend! Your brain gets to rest!” he says to those who look tired.

One young girl comes in clearly on the verge of tears. “It’s gonna be ok,” he tells her.

The kids look up. They look at his kind face and right into his eyes, as teens are sometimes reluctant to do. They feel seen. They smile, or even laugh. Jimmy may be the best thing that happens to them all day.

Some of our teens testified to Jimmy’s positive presence here at the library.

“He shows kindness,”” Messiah said. “He keeps a smile on his face.”

Aiden said he likes it that Jimmy laughs when you high-five him back.

Hannah notices the small things Jimmy does that make people feel good. “He’s really nice and he makes people smile just by smiling. He’s a welcoming face at the library.”

We caught up with Jimmy to ask him for his take on working with the students. “I figure, if I high-five them, I bring a smile to their face. And then some will come back with their report cards, and if they get all As, I reward them. I rewarded three or four already for that.”

The inspiration for Jimmy’s compassion for young people was his mother. “My mom, she practically raised the whole neighborhood,” he said. “Kids would come in and she would feed them, she would clothe them. She was just a lovable person. I got that from my mom.”