'Good Deeds' earn local teen a free laptop

By LaVendrick Smith | Jun 27, 2012
Photo by: All Family Dental Care Dr. Colleen Tracy of All Family Dental Care with student Jose Perez. Perez is the winner of Dr. Tracy’s Good Deeds essay contest and the winner of a laptop.

For one Mukilteo teen, what started out as a kind gesture has turned into a free laptop.

Jose Perez, a soon-to-be Kamiak High School student, is the winner of the Good Deeds essay contest.

In the contest, Dr. Colleen Tracy of All Family Dental Care in Silverlake challenged kids to write an essay, detailing a good deed they performed. The winner of the contest would receive a laptop.

Jose’s essay explained his time volunteering at the Mukilteo Boys & Girls Club. After school, Jose helps younger kids with their homework at the club.

“Kids struggle, and I just want to help out in some way, so I decided to help them with their homework and reading,” Jose said. “It just felt really good to see them understand.”

Dr. Tracy was inspired to create the contest after seeing the story of Karen Klein, a 68-year-old bus monitor who made recent headlines after a video of her being bullied by children on a school bus went viral.

Tracy’s objective was to show that children still do great things, despite kids like the ones who bullied Karen Klein.

“I wanted to do something that showed young people when they’re doing something right versus focusing always on the negative things kids are doing,” Dr. Tracy said.

She said two essays stood out to her, Jose’s being the winner.

“It was really well written, plus the fact that he’s [tutoring] two to three or four days a week, when he could be doing sports or other things,” she said about Jose.

“But he seems to enjoy going in and helping kids with their homework—kids that are struggling in school—and I thought it was a pretty selfless act.”

Dr. Tracy received more than 40 essays. She said kids performed a variety of good deeds, such as helping disabled relatives and feeding the homeless.

Jose has been volunteering at the Boys & Girls club for the past few months. He is also involved with one of the club’s summer programs. He volunteers with food drives and occasionally donates his own items to causes.

“It’s a way to show [others] that I’m a good person,” he said about volunteering.

He plans to use the laptop for his schoolwork, but said the contest wasn’t just about the laptop, but doing something positive.

“I want to keep being positive so I can keep doing good deeds,” he said.

Joe Perez, Jose’s father, said Jose’s perspective on helping others is refreshing for someone his age.

“It was real cool, because he’s a really cool kid,” Joe Perez said. “You always hear that nice guys finish last, but it’s really nice to see him win something and encourage him to stay positive.”

Dr. Tracy said she intends to do the contest again next year.

She said good deeds are important in building a community.

“It’s a trickle-down effect,” she said. “I impact a person, they may remember that, and they pass it on.”

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