Dude, be nice.

On Wed., Dec. 11, freshmen, sophomores, club leaders, and athletes are invited to the gym to hear Mike Smith’s personal experience and stance on anti-bullying. “I think what he did was really amazing,” sophomore, Heather Rodriguez said. “I’m going to start being friendly to people who don’t seem to have anyone to hang out with.”

Noemi Lozano, Copy Editor

On Dec. 11, motivational speaker Mike Smith made a special appearance at Downey High to address the struggles that teenagers may be experiencing and encourages youth to make a difference. All varsity athletes, school leaders, freshmen, and sophomores attended one of his three assemblies.


As students sat through his hour long assembly, Smith spoke not about what he wanted to change in society, but about what he will change in society. Smith shared personal experiences about his challenging high school years. He spoke about how he was “the lame kid,” during his freshmen year.


“I was that kid,” Smith said “I was the outcast.”


Smith went through drastic changes throughout the summer after his freshman year and came back his sophomore year a brand new person. Smith joined multiple sports and soon became one of the popular kids. After touching the heart of an unpopular freshman during his senior year of high school, he realized he wanted to make a difference.


Junior, Maria Pena was touched by Smith’s speech and his dedication to helping others.


“It touched me so much because a lot of people may come from bad backgrounds and it is just so amazing how one person can change his way of life to assist others,” Pena said.


Smith’s assemblies were the same for the freshmen and sophomores but he did something a bit different for the leaders and varsity athletes. He spoke about how the leaders and athletes of Downey High are role models, whether they know it or not. His main goal for these students was to encourage them to leave Downey High with a positive legacy for others to remember them by.


Junior, Chanel Villanueva, a varsity track and field athlete and Link Crew member, was inspired to become a better person and leave her own legacy at Downey High.


“Mike Smith’s speech opened my eyes for sure as a leader and an athlete. He easily connected to me and my troubles in high school,” Villanueva said. “He also delivered the unexpected on what a leader needs to be in their school.”


Smith’s visit inspired students to become leaders and help others. As Smith ended his assembly he said “Speak for the silent, stand for the broken,” the quote tattooed on his forearm, that reminds him of his life’s mission.