Freshman’s Goal: “To Spread my Happiness”

By Rahma Ali, ’15

Students at Edward Little high school might have seen Devki Gelder in the hallways or in one of their classes, but what really makes the 14-year-old freshman standout is her absolute friendliness to strangers. Students sometimes don’t have the guts to randomly say “hi” to students they don’t know, but Gelder is all about getting out of her comfort zone and making at least one person smile is part of her daily to-do list.

Devki Gelder, freshman, has a positive attitude that's making an impression at Edward Little.

Devki Gelder, freshman, has a positive attitude that’s making an impression at Edward Little.

“It was a Friday morning,” said Junior Dani Wyman, “I was leaving the girls bathroom, and trying not to be late to first period. I was already having a rough morning. She just waved and had a huge smile and said “hi” to me while she passed, it was really sweet and I’m happy she did.”

Another student, Junior Samira Mohamed, said, “It’s like she knows when you need cheering up, she’ll wave, smile or either quickly say something to you.”

That’s exactly the point, according to Gelder. “I want to spread my happiness so other people can also have a good day.”

Gelder enjoys playing the piano, singing, and listening to music, she said. In the future she wants to go to college to become a teacher and if she can’t be a teacher, she wants to work with animals. School is a major part of her life; she never wants stop learning. Gelder says, “The craziest thing is realizing I’m just a freshman!”

Gelder has a condition called nystagmus that causes her eyes to move around uncontrollably. She is legally blind and has very low peripheral vision. However, she is very certain that she will never have an operation because the condition doesn’t bother her at all and it doesn’t stop her from doing regular, everyday things.

Two years in a row she went to the New England Blind Athletic Association, a sports camp for the blind. There, Gelder has won a most spirited award and many fencing awards. Gelder says, “It felt wonderful because I was with kids who were a lot like me in terms of the eye disabilities.”

At the sports camp, the two people competing in the fencing tournaments are blindfolded so everyone can have an equal chance.

Other awards she has won is a “Janitor Award” at Auburn Middle School in 8th grade, given to a certain student who shows compassion towards everybody, and a Drama Award for the most spirited also given to her at AMS.

    Rachel Meuse, freshman and a close friend of Gelder says, “She works really hard on all of her school work and she is nice to everyone and is just a really nice person overall.”

  Some last advice Gelder has for all students at Edward Little is “Be optimistic because then you would see that your life may not be as bad as it sometimes feels. It doesn’t take much to feel good, just have a positive attitude and you can make yourself and others feel good”

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