This story is part of the My Unsung Hero series, from the Hidden Brain team, about people whose kindness has left a lasting impression on someone else.
It was lunchtime and Evelyn Flores was starting to get really hungry. As she watched her second grade classmates leave the classroom to buy lunch, she began to worry.
Flores lived in San Mateo, Mexico with her parents, who were flower growers. The family was in financial trouble, so instead of buying lunch, Flores’ mother left the food. But she didn’t show up that day.
« I was like, what happened? Why [is] isn’t my mother here?” Flores remembered.
Flores usually had lunch and then went to play with his friends. But her hunger and worrying about him made it hard to want to do anything.
« So I decided to sit in class because I was in a bad mood, » Flores said.
It was then that Flores’ teacher, Elizabeth Garcia, returned to class.
« He was like, ‘Hey Evelyn, why [are] you inside? Why aren’t you out to have lunch and play with your friends?' »
After Flores explained her situation, Garcia told her to wait in class, that she would be right back. When she returned, she had a bottle of juice and a sandwich for Flores to eat.
« And then she was like, ‘OK, eat this. Because you still have three more hours for school and then you’re going to starve, and I don’t want you to feel bad,' » Flores said.
Garcia stayed with Flores while she ate. The student and teacher talked over lunch and Flores recalls how supported she felt.
« She was my first best friend, » she said.
Flores is now studying at Western Illinois University. He is majoring in Spanish education to follow in Garcia’s footsteps.
« I want to be a teacher, » Flores said. « She was great [inspiration] for me. »
My Unsung Hero is also a podcast: new episodes are released every Tuesday. To share your unsung hero story with the Hidden Brain team, record a voice memo on your phone and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.