VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach teen is taking a stand against bullies by motivating others.
17-year-old Carson Heskett stands at a busy intersection holding cardboard signs with encouraging messages. Her efforts have become popular among drivers and followers online. The evening commute can be a bummer for some drivers, but now people in one part of Virginia Beach have a reason to smile during rush hour.
“This is the first time I saw her, I think it’s awesome,” said Natalie Degutis, a driver who stopped to talk to Heskett. “This is wonderful!”
That inspiring message is coming from the most unlikely of places, a 17-year-old with a smile and a cardboard sign.
“A lot of people on the way home have a little doubt or they are having a bad day,” said Heskett.”I want them to see a friendly face and hopefully give them a little reminder that things are going to be okay.”
Heskett stands at the intersection of Providence and Kempsville roads with her encouraging signs and points them at drivers. Some people say seeing Heskett’s signs gives them a boost during their drive home.
“I just tried out for our school soccer team and I was really scared I wasn’t going to make it,” said Emily Levin, a Kempsville High School student. “We find out tomorrow, and her sign just brought me a whole ton of joy.”
Some drivers honk their horns at Heskett as a show of support, others will wave. Heskett said some people have even given her umbrellas to use when she stands in the rain or coffee when she stands out in the cold.
Heskett said she started holding her signs as a way to turn her pain from bullies into something positive. Her mom says it’s done even more for Carson’s self-esteem.
“She’s been more outgoing, she looks forward to doing it, and it makes her happy,” said Tee Heskett, Carson’s mother.
“You need to stand up for yourself no matter what the situation and things do get better,” said Heskett. “And you have to tell somebody if you are being bullied because if you sit there, nothing is going to happen.”
If you’re ever feeling down about traffic troubles or the rough road home, Heskett says to think of something positive, and if you can’t, she’ll think of something for you.
Heskett has several signs she uses. She usually stands at intersection for an hour after school.
Her signs have become so popular she created a Facebook page to keep up with followers. Click here to go to Heskett’s Facebook page.