Cedar Hill ISD

North Texas 5th Grader Advocates for Suicide Prevention in National Speech Contest

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A North Texas fifth-grader is working to save lives by spreading a message of kindness.

Braylon Thomas, 11, is a student at Cedar Hill ISD's Collegiate Prep Elementary. He's also a finalist in the National Kindness Speech Competition.

In his speech, Thomas spends roughly two minutes encouraging others to be kind and to stop bullying to help prevent suicide. He also shares his plan to build on his idea by creating an organization for students.

"I would like to create a national student suicide prevention society," Thomas said. "It's important to stay safe and treat people the same way we would want to be treated."

"He's given a really, really powerful message, and a very simple one about just being kind of people, you know, a smile every now and then, you know, can take a person a long way," said Jamila Thomas, Thomas' mom.

She says the family received a call from the 2020 contest winner Orion Jean and his parents, wishing them good luck. She's proud that her son is a leader and that he's inspiring and working alongside other children to promote kindness. Thomas and some of his friends also discuss ways to show kindness and support on Facebook.

The speech with the most votes wins $500. If he wins, Thomas plans to donate some of his winnings to Carson's Village, an organization for parents whose children have died by suicide.

Voting continues through Friday and each voter can submit a vote once every 24 hours. To learn more about the contest and efforts to help children promote kindness, click here.

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