Every week in partnership with the Tulare County Office of Education, we tell stories about South Valley students with great character.
This week we meet a big sister, 8th grader Gina Regalado of Alta Vista Middle School in Porterville, who embraces and cares for her younger brother on campus, 2nd grader Junior.
Junior is a student with special needs and Gina looks out for him both at home and at school.
“Mostly we do book buddies and when we do do book buddies, I try to be nice to him there and I don’t want him to have a tantrum at school,” Gina said. “Usually I find something he is not that good at and then teach it to him in a way that he understands.”
Gina has great patience with her brother and with others. She always gives a smile and a helping hand to everyone she meets.
One of her teachers Vanessa Reilly adds:
“When there is the one kid who doesn’t want to do the work or struggles with the work, she will go sit by that student and helps them. It is something about her. It triggers in her brain, ‘I need to go over there. That one needs me.’ She is a mother hen.”
A mother hen to her own flock, but also to complete strangers. Gina is known to include everyone, from the classroom to the playground.
“When they are alone they look awfully sad and I don’t like that sad face,” Gina said. “So I go out there and try to make them smile more.”
For Gina, being kind is a natural instinct.
“It’s how I grew up, when I am kind to other people it makes me feel good,” Gina said. “I don’t like it when people are bullying people so I try to be that one person that they can talk to that they know won’t hurt them.”
Whether it is reading to her brother, or laughing with her friends, Gina lives her life by a simple motto.
“Just to be kind to other people because kindness goes a long way and helps a lot of people.’
Gina Regalado of Alta Vista Middle School shows us why Your Character Matters.