BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C.–Emma Seiders stood before the audience at the Berkeley Middle School talent show on January 26 and her heart sank. She was singing One Call Away by singer Charlie Puth with the audience clapping when she suddenly froze. She covered her face with her hands as she began to cry.
What happened after that moment is something Emma said she will remember for the rest of her life. Instead of ridicule and laughter, there were words of encouragement from the audience. Clapping to the beat of the song morphed into an applause of encouragement. Perhaps the greatest thing to happen — her peers rushed the stage.
Surrounded by other students at the school, the 7th-grader regained her composure and finished the song.
Berkeley Middle School assistant principal Rachel Spitulski said it was a wonderful act of unprompted kindness to witness. She said some of the students rushing the stage were Emma’s friends, others she may not have known before the talent show. She said it brought tears to her eyes.
“Just to see how honest and pure the kids are to each other in that moment… It didn’t matter that she was struggling,” Mrs. Spitulski said. “…I definitely want to thank the parents for raising their children that way and thank the kids for looking out for each other.”
Spitulski describes Emma as a great kid that always gives back to others. She said it was phenomenal to see the other students give back in the same way.
“It made me want to sing more,” Emma said. “It made me want to sing as loud as I possibly can. It just made me feel safe.”