In school, lunch tables are sometimes viewed as a place where someone’s social status is basically defined (kids. Smh). But Florida State football player Travis Rudolph had no reservations about pulling up a chair across from autistic sixth-grader, Bo Paske, who was sitting alone during lunch.
The 20-year-old FSU wide receiver was visiting Tallahassee’s Montford Middle School as part of a meet and greet with students the day he shared lunchtime with the often unaccompanied sixth-grade student.
The 20-year-old was one of five players visiting the school that day to meet with students when he saw autistic sixth-grader Bo Paske sitting alone at lunch. He asked if he could sit with him.
According to Rudolph the two had a great conversation and Bo was a “cool” person he would enjoy hanging out with anytime.
One of the boy’s first questions to the player was if he was in the NFL. Rudolph answered, “not yet.”
Bo also shared with Rudolph his love for Florida State.
Leah Paske, the boy’s mother, was in tears at the football player’s kindness. Bo often spends lunchtime alone.
Just another example that a simple kind gesture can make all the difference in someone’s world. Rudolph knows this firsthand as he’s familiar with the effect that athletes have on today’s youth.
‘I was just a kid not too long ago,’ Rudolph said.
‘And I remember what the impact was when I saw guys that played in college football and the NFL coming back to us.
‘So I felt like maybe I could change someone’s life or just make someone a better person and want to be great just like me, even better.’
If only everyone else knew that we can in fact change the world even if it’s only one person at a time.
Word to Colin Kaepernick.