Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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DOUGLAS: That sign gal

Hey there, Boston University! Welcome back to another edition of “Who’s that Column.” I finally got a submission from a reader. Thanks Josh Liebowitz. I’ve never actually seen this girl in action, but from what Josh tells me, she’s dedicated to her cause.

Her name is Esther Ro and she’s a College of Communication sophomore studying journalism. Apparently, every day, Esther stands on a corner and holds a sign up with a positive message. Every weekday. For two hours. From 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. She’s crazy.

Esther does it because she wants to make a positive impact on her community.

“Over the summer, maybe about three weeks before class started, God put this on my heart,” she said. “To love and serve my community, to build relationships.”

Her messages are always encouraging and always positive. Some of the messages she’s had recently include, “Hope you get a fresh start to the new week,” “Mondays suck, but you don’t! Have a great day,” and “You look better with a smile.”

Esther is clearly a generous person. I asked her if she ever does anything other than holding a sign.

“I gave out free pencils on the first day of school, just to say, ‘Oh, hey, welcome back to school!’” she said.

She said she planned to bake brownies. I know from Josh that she came through on that and stood outside with freshly baked brownies last Thursday.

This girl is so dedicated to her cause that she gets up every morning at 6:15 a.m. so that she will have the time to get ready before school.

“If I was doing anything else, I wouldn’t be getting up that early,” she said giggling.

I can’t imagine getting up that early ever. I count an early morning as one that starts at 8 a.m.

Esther said she also wants to continue with the messages when it gets cold, even though she’s from California and cold is a foreign concept to her. With anyone else, I would have taken this statement with a, “yeah, right” attitude, but I think Esther might actually do it.

Overall, Esther is pleased with the way her project has turned out. The residents of South Campus come up to her skeptical asking, “What are you doing? Is this a sociology project?” and finally, “I don’t get it.” But none of these reactions have deterred Esther. She said that most people, after their initial skepticism, are open and appreciative of her efforts.

No one else from BU helps Esther with her mission, although she said she’s more than excited about the possibility of collaboration. She is a dedicated member of the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, a Christian group on campus, and said some  members have expressed interest, but so far it has just been Esther.

So BU, next time you’re on South Campus early in the morning, be it a Thursday morning walk of shame or a casual stroll to class, give Esther a smile and maybe play the encouragement forward.

Jemma Douglas is a sophomore in the College of Communication studying Journalism. She can be reached at jwdoug@bu.edu.

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