Josh felt nervous before school and relieved when the day was over. He suffered bullying and unkind behavior. Josh hung a picture of his recently passed father in his locker, which a few students ripped down. Desperate to give him a chance at a new beginning, his mother moved him to a different school. At first, things weren’t much better in the new school. He felt invisible, unworthy of connection. He described his life then as a puzzle: he was a piece, unsure of where to go and where he fit. Josh wanted to reach out to people and be seen. He wanted to matter and connect with people.
One day when Josh arrived at school, instead of walking through the door with his head down, summoning an uncommon warrior spirit, he decided to hold the door for the other students who were entering school. As they passed, he said, “Good morning. How are you? Hi, have a great day!” A few of the students said, “Hey, thanks.” Most rolled their eyes and thought it was weird. Awkward as it may have felt, he was no longer invisible. He continued to hold the door every day after that. With each passing day, more and more school- mates said, “Hello.” A few quietly thanked him.
Before long, Josh was part of the rhythm of the school day, like the morning announcements or the Pledge of Allegiance. e sarcasm and snickers faded away. Students began to look forward to his kind and friendly greeting. When students talked about Josh now, they spoke of him as nice, cool—a good guy. Everyone started calling him “the Doorman.” ere were smiles and pats on the back. e boy who once held his head down in fear walked taller through the hallway, receiving high fives and fist bumps.
I can imagine kids’ voices saying, “Hey, Doorman!” He smiled and shined light into others’ days. Josh Yandt was an example to others of courage and kindness in the face of fear. Everyone at school knew who he was. at spring something beautiful happened.
Josh “the Doorman” was crowned the prom king. They presented him with a crown and a decorated wooden door with hundreds of signatures and notes on it. He courageously transformed himself. He transformed an entire school.