A fourth grader at Altamonte Springs Elementary school in Florida was bullied for the way he represented his favorite school. On Monday, September 9, the young boy made a DIY University of Tennessee t-shirt by pinning his own hand-drawn “U.T.” design on an orange shirt to represent the university at his school’s “College Colors Day.” Despite his excitement about the shirt that morning, his teacher, Laura Snyder, finds him crying about it after lunch.
“Some girls at the lunch table next to his (who didn’t even participate in college colors day) had made fun of his sign that he had attached to his shirt. “He was devastated,” said Snyder, “I know kids can be cruel, I am aware that it’s not the fanciest sign, but this kid used the resources he had available to him to participate in a spirit day.”
Finding the kid upset over something he was so proud of , motivated Snyder to make it up to him. She put out a post on Facebook asking if anyone she knew had any contacts at the university. She originally was just going to buy the student an authentic University of Tennessee t-shirt, but once she got in contact with the school, she asked them “to make it a little extra special for him.”
The university later sent the boy a large care package of University of Tennessee shirts, hats, pens, water bottles and other goodies for him to enjoy and share with his classmates. The fourth grader found himself ecstatic and proud to be a Vols fan.
Even when he thought it couldn’t get any better, the university announced that they were making the young kid’s handmade “U.T.” design into an official University of Tennessee t-shirt. The design was printed on shirts and sweatshirts and sold on the official Vols fan shop website. Not only did the sales crash the online store, but the profits made will all be donated to an anti-bullying foundation.
After receiving tons of attention for his Vols spirit, the young boy was offered a spot in the Class of 2032 at the University of Tennessee. If in 8 years the young fan can meet admission requirements for the school and chooses to attend there, he will be awarded a four-year scholarship covering his tuition and fees starting in the fall of 2028.