Student Spreads Kind Gesture Through 400 Created Certificates

For sophomore Megan Chan, the time it took her to create and distribute 400 "certificates of appreciation" to professors and offices on campus was nothing compared to the worth of each small gesture of kindness.

"I feel it is important to acknowledge the contributions people make, both big and small. Every bit counts," Chan said. "People forget how awesome they are sometimes, and I want to be there to remind them that they are making a difference, even if they are not always properly recognized."

So, she took to the academic buildings with a small notebook and pen, copying down the names of the staff members and offices (including The Ramapo News) in each hallway. Then, Chan made certificates for each and every one, a project that she said took her between 20 and 24 hours to do. 

The end result was a campus-wide display of her gratitude. The certificates, each personalized and individually signed, share a note of thanks for "outstanding service to the community and steadfast dedication to enriching the lives of others."

"I like to capitalize on my passion of encouraging others to their best end and enhancing the journey of others," Chan said. "It is what makes me feel alive."   

Her effort has not gone unnoticed. Chan said she has gotten mostly positive feedback from the community, although others were confused as to why she was honoring them on an ordinary day.

"I did not want to put the certificates up on a holiday, because then people would think that they are only being recognized because it is a special time," she explained. "Every day is a special occasion, and each day has moments worth celebrating."

That's what Chan said she kept in mind throughout the entire endeavor.

"Every person is worthy of a celebration, and I want to remind people of that. I think that some people were confused because they may not believe a stranger can possess unconditional positive regard for them," she said. "My thoughts are that if I can brighten at least one person's day, then I have succeeded."

In that regard, Chan definitely succeeded. She said that of the feedback she received, many people "were grateful to have their contributions exalted." Some groups even took to Facebook to express their gratitude.

"I have much love for this world and the people in it," Chan said.