Albuquerque high schoolers spreading joy with ‘Dude, Be Nice’ campaign

Community Reports

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Dude, Be Nice campaign is on its second week, following last week’s Dude, Be Nice to Teachers. This week students and faculty are now focused on spreading kindness to one another for Dude, Be Nice to Each Other.

Atrisco Heritage Academy High School is one of the many Albuquerque Public Schools participating in the campaign. In order to adhere to the social distancing guidelines set up by the state, the campaign activities are taking place over social media.

Jessica Martinez, Atrisco’s activities director, said she’s already seen a positive response from the students. “When we first started creating the idea for this event, we were very aware of how the limitations of being together was going to affect the students’ mental and emotional health. We really felt those individual connections were important,” Martinez said. “We just wanted to make sure that every person feels seen.”

Cielo Soto is a 12th grade student body council member at Atrisco, and said they as a council had attempted implementing this campaign in previous years, but it didn’t have the same impact as it did this time.

“Before when we were on campus, people didn’t pay much attention to it, but now since we’re in quarantine and kind of isolated from classmates, people are taking it seriously,” Soto said. “We all noticed how much our teachers appreciated the little notes and emails we sent them last week, so I think everyone realizes how something so small can make someone feel so good.”

She said she’s seen fellow students surprising a friend with their favorite drink, sending a text message to check up on friends and paying for the person behind them at the local coffee shop.

The students at La Cueva High School have turned this week’s events into fun challenges to help engage as many students as they can.

“We’ve been working as a senate like most schools have, to think of different ideas,” said Activities Director Lacee Metzger. “They’ve come up with compliment challenges, random acts challenges, there’s even clubs at our school who created a point system for these challenges.”

La Cueva senior Brynn Ayala said she’s even noticed faculty participating in this challenge.

“They’re trying to get involved and compliment each other. We went around in class today saying one thing that we liked about each other,” Ayala said. “Everyone just wants to know they’re loved. Even if we’re not all together, we can still feel connected, even if it’s through a screen.”

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