Our series, A More Perfect Union, aims to show that what unites us as Americans is far greater than what divides us. When it comes to making friends, high school can be especially difficult. For some teenagers, the hardest part of the day can be lunchtime in the high school cafeteria. "CBS This Morning Saturday" co-host Dana Jacobson visited Boiling Springs High School in South Carolina, to see how a simple question changed one student's life.
Andrew Kirby was used to sitting alone at lunch. The high school sophomore was never especially social and making friends hasn't been easy. He was born with a neurological disorder and has undergone several major surgeries over his life.
"A lot of times at lunch I'll text Andrew," explained his mom, Kay Kirby. "I said, 'Are you eating with anyone? And he said 'No.' And I sat at my desk at work and I just prayed I said, 'Lord, please send somebody to eat with him.'"
But that changed on the first day of school this year when members of the student council noticed that Andrew was eating alone and invited him to join them.
"If we were sitting by ourselves we would want someone to sit with us so we didn't want kids to have to sit by themselves," one student said. Added another, "Everyone needs to have someone and anyone can be a help with that."
"It's very encouraging to know that there are teenagers out there that took their time. They weren't being in their own clique, they weren't being selfish, they took their time to reach out to somebody who might be different. And you know, you never know what a child is going through — maybe they've got a bad home life, maybe they're depressed, and there's a kid sitting by themselves and they noticed that," Kay said. "The peace I have now at lunch I don't feel like I need to text him and check on him."
What started as a small act of kindness has even gone beyond the lunchroom. The group invited Andrew to go to the movies with them a couple weeks ago.
What's more, he's been eating lunch with them every day since.