Currituck County, NC - Last week, NewsChannel 3 presented a People Taking Action Award to Currituck County High School freshman Eric Reed. He was caught on bus surveillance video, doing something good. In fact, Reed sang the "Hokey Pokey" to 10 year old special needs student Jessica Etheridge to cheer her up.
"She's just not someone to judge you. And she just is a friend because I have a lot of people judge me all the time," said Reed.
Reed was described as a troublemaker. His parents even moved him to a new school district to get him back on the right track. Since then, he has evolved.
NewsChannel 3 gave Reed a People Taking Action pin, too, for his good deed last week, but we wanted to do more. So NewsChannel 3 went to Best Buy in Chesapeake to get something Reed really wanted. In fact, we used the boss' money and bought Eric a brand new laptop computer after his broke. From there, we drove to Currituck County High School to surprise him.
Counselors and administrators helped us set it all up, pretending that the computer was not his. We had the student read viewer comments from our original story online. But little did Reed know what was about to happen next.
"One of the reasons we came here today was to present you with something. Of course, we had you looking on my laptop, but I lied. This is actually your laptop," said Dominic Brown, NewsChannel 3 reporter.
"Are you serious?" asks Reed.
"This is your laptop," said Brown.
Reed was speechless when NewsChannel 3 presented the computer to him. Reed tells us that although he's gotten a lot of positive feedback from family, friends and kids at school after our first story aired, he's gotten some negative ones, too. But he's not letting that get him down.
"I think a lot of people will look at me different, you know. Instead of looking at me and saying, you know, this kid is just a troublemaker, people are saying I want this kid to be my friend," said Reed. "I feel the moment you do something and not expecting anything out of it, that's true character. That really shows who you are."