‘Tell Me Something Good’

Old song gets new refrain

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  • A filled whiteboard was completed for Heather Ross’ “Tell Me Something Good” project.

  • Autumn Wingfield, freshman, writes her good on the whiteboard.

  • A photo of a filled board of goods shows messages of positivity.

  • Another board of goods stands completed in Heather Ross’ office.

  • The whiteboard in Heather Ross’ office is filled with more goods for the “Tell Me Something Good” project.

  • Students and staff filled another whiteboard of goods in Heather Ross’ office.

  • Another whiteboard was filled with good moments and quotes for the project.

  • The “Tell Me Something Good” project gained more attention with another full board of goods.

  • David Johns, former president, adds his good to the whiteboard with Courtney Brown, Chief of Staff.

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Lindsey M. Foster, Editor

Heather Ross has the “Goods”.

They have been flowing to the Carter Center in Ross’ office in Room 109C through the project “Tell Me Something Good”. The good in each day appears, even on the days that seem completely negative.

“The purpose of this board is to help others (and me) remember that there is something good in every day if we seek to find it,” Ross, a Success Coach, said.

Ross began “Tell Me Something Good” last semester when she began her job on campus.

The board allows students and faculty to write one good thing that happened to them that day.

“Their ‘good’ can be anything, so long as it held value and purpose to them,” Ross said.

In the beginning, Ross had students write something good that happened that day before they could leave her office–it was her exit strategy, so to speak.

“Initially, students were not at all excited about this,” she said.

As the semester went on, students and faculty began coming prepared with what they are going to write.

“At times, students have struggled to identify something good in their life,” Ross said. “It has required some soul-searching and deep thought, but they are able to see that there is something good in their life!”

Different ‘goods’ have been written on the whiteboards, including positive things that occurred in someone’s life.

“They span from deeply personal accomplishments to celebrating good grades earned, to spreading phrases of kindness and positivity for their peers who may be struggling,” Ross said.

There has been an increase in participants; Ross has gone through seven whiteboards so far. She has also gained traction through this initiative.

“I’ve had random students who are not on my caseload who just drop in and say, ‘Are you the lady with the whiteboard?’,” Ross said. “Those students have also contributed to something good, and I don’t even know their names…and I LOVE that they feel welcome to do that!”

A past student who participated in “Tell Me Something Good” was on academic probation and worked to come back and receive their education.

“He is doing fantastic now! His quote said, ‘I never gave up!’,” Ross said.

One student that makes good use of “Tell Me Something Good” is student Dyqaesha Wilson, freshman.

“I drop by to visit at least three times a week to update her on my journey at Ferrum,” Wilson said. “Whether it’s about grades, wanting to talk, or to write some inspirational quotes, I never leave Heather’s office without writing on her board.”

Ross became a go-to person for Wilson after several visits.

“I never had anyone like Heather Ross to back me up and to always encourage me that ‘I am going to make it’,” Wilson said. “She’s a wonderful person and a great Academic Coach, and I highly recommend that she continues to work with us; and (she is) very supportive of her students.”

Participating in “Tell Me Something Good” also prompted Wilson to inspire others just like Ross.

“Everyone goes through a stage in life where it’s not easy, so the way I want to uplift others is giving them a reason to be happy,” Wilson said.

Before becoming a Success Coach, Ross spent 14 years helping others through child welfare. However, the position did not bring the same positivity to her as the position did to others.

“While I loved this field very much, I often found that it did not so much as even like me back,” Ross said. “The days grew longer, and the workload never lightened, despite how much work went into creating positive change.”

During those 14 years, Ross found her purpose again when she learned she could have an impact with through kindness and empathy.

“I taught and trained others along the way so that they, too, could bring ‘good’ to someone else!’ Ross said. “After finding my own ‘good’ again, I made it a mission to help others do the same!”

Ross also learned a lesson during this time from a friend of hers.

“My friend shared an Alice Earle quote with me that said, ‘Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day’,” Ross said.

After that, the idea for “Tell Me Something Good” then came to Ross when she came here. She wanted to spread to others the lesson she learned.

“What started as a personal mission to help myself remember my purpose and to find my ‘good’ in the hard days has blossomed into something meaningful for others, too!” Ross said.

Ross encourages all students and faculty to stop by her office to participate in “Tell Me Something Good” or to email her at [email protected] to share your note to be added to the board.

“I look forward to reading each and every one!” Ross said.

One student came by Ross’ office with a quote from Rabbi Harold Kushner about finding the good in every day to go along with the goal of “Tell Me Something Good”.

It stated:

“If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.”