A NEW JERSEY TEEN GETS AN AMAZING SURPRISE AFTER DOING THE RIGHT THING
RETURN TO OWNER
I recently had a friend tell me the inspiring story of teen named John. John told my friend his story began when he was 15 and he and his parents were shopping at the mall one weekend. While his parents were at the food court he decided to venture into an electronics store. Since he didn’t have any money, he was window shopping and see what kind of interesting gadgets they had displayed on the shelves. He was looking at an item on one of the shelves when he noticed a brown leather wallet lying upon the shelf beside some of the boxes. He picked up the wallet and took a look inside to see if he could find any identification to identify find the owner of the wallet. As he was looking for the I.D, he noticed the wallet was very heavy, In fact, he discovered there was at least several hundred dollars contained within the wallet.
John admits he day dreamed for a brief moment about how nice it would have been to have been able to buy anything he wanted in the store with all of the money he had found. But then he thought about how he would feel if he, or his dad, or someone he knew had lost their wallet. Wouldn’t he want to get it back? Yes, there was no question; he had to get the wallet back to the rightful owner.
FINDING THE OWNER
John said a couple of minutes later his dad came into the store. He showed his dad the wallet he had found and his dad looked through the wallet until he found the I.D. “Oh” his dad had remarked, “this person looks familiar. Let’s head home and I’ll give the number the call. I am sure they are worried sick over this wallet.”
When they arrived home, John’s dad gave the number a call, gave the man on the other end their address and told him he could arrive at any time that evening to pick up his wallet. What happened next was very surprising to John.
John couldn’t believe who showed up to obtain the wallet. The reason why the man in the picture had looked so familiar was because the owner of the wallet belonged to John’s Principal, Principal Radcliff. John recalls how thankful and relived Principal Radcliff looked when his dad gave John the wallet to hand back to Principal Radcliff. John recalled the story of how he had found the wallet while browsing in an electronics store. Apparently, Principal Radcliff had just made a large withdrawal from his bank and had went to the mall to buy birthday presents for his daughter, but he had forgotten his wallet when he received a phone call and had to rush home.
JOHN GETS SOME HELP
Principal Radcliff became very fond of John after he returned his wallet. He admired the honesty and integrity of the teen and often gave John advice when he was having issues in school. John says the most amazing thing happened his senior year in high school; he was applying for colleges and having little success. He had good grades, but the most prominent of colleges were looking for more than good grades, they wanted exemplary students.
John says at this point, Principal Radcliff had been promoted to Superintendent Radcliff. So they didn’t get to talk as often as they did when he and John were in school together, but Superintendent Radcliff still called John on occasion to discuss his future. John said he still remembers the day when Superintendent Radcliff called one evening after John had just received another rejection notice from a college he was really looking to join. “Have you tried Princeton yet, John?” Superintendent Radcliff asked over the phone. John responded that he had not, because he did not feel he had any chance of getting into one of the top schools in the US after being rejected by other colleges “I think you should apply, in fact, I’m going to write you a letter of recommendation. Please attach it with your application.” Superintendent Radcliff responded. John thanked Superintendent Radcliff for his offer; and received the letter from him two days later. John says he went ahead and filled out an application and attached the letter.
Three weeks went by before John received a letter in the mail from Princeton. He expected it to be another rejection letter, but to his surprise, he had been accepted! At the bottom of the acceptance letter was a small note that read, “the one thing that made your application stand out; was your display of honor and integrity; which Superintendent Radcliff spoke so highly about in your letter of recommendation. We look meeting with you soon.” John said he was utterly astonished, but equally excited.
That fall, John began his college classes at Princeton University; and it all went back to a wallet John had found in the store; where he did the right thing.