10 words stuck with Mr. Sonnier for 15 years. They turned him from janitor to principal.

There's that person in life that says something to you and it stays with you forever.

For Joseph "Gabe" Sonnier, who was the janitor at Port Barre Elementary School, those words came one day in 1985. The principal of the school pulled him aside.

"I'd rather see you grading papers than picking them up," principal Wesley Jones had said to him, as Sonnier recalled to CBS.


He'd never forget those words. Sonnier continued on with his job as the loving and respected janitor that he was, but 15 years later, he revisited what Jones had said.

All GIFs via "CBS Sunday Morning."

He decided to go for it.

Sonnier decided to go back to school and become a teacher. At 39 years old. All while still working full-time as Port Barre Elementary's janitor.

"I would come to work at like five in the morning and leave at seven and go to school all day, and then come back and finish up my eight hours of work here, and then go home and do homework," he told Fox2Now.

Oof. That's quite a day ... every day. But the hard work paid off in a big way.

He got his Bachelor's degree and became a teacher in one of the very classrooms he used to clean.

And when he later got his master's degree? Well, the best thing happened. Everything came full circle.

Port Barre Elementary announced its new principal in November 2013, and it was their very own Mr. Sonnier.

Hooray, Mr. Sonnier!

Although that definitely didn't stop him from cleaning his own office.

Mr. Sonnier's story just goes to show that if you've got a goal, go for it. And if you believe in someone's potential — tell them.

"Don't let your situation that you're in now define what you're going to become later," he said. "I always tell them it's not where you start, it's how you finish."

I'd go on to add, it's also who you meet and are inspired by along the way.

Hear more about the incredible Mr. Sonnier in this "CBS Sunday Morning" feature:

True

A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
via Brittany Kinley / Facebook

Brittany Kinley, a mother from Mansfield, Texas, had a hilarious mom fail her and she's chalking it up to being just another crazy thing that happened in 2020.

When Kinley filled out the order form for her son Mason's kindergarten class pictures, there was an option to have his name engraved into the photos. But Kinley wasn't interested in having her son's name on the photos so she wrote "I DON'T WANT THIS" on the box.

Well, it appears as though she should have left the box blank because the computer or incredibly literal human that designed the photographs wrote "I DON'T WANT THIS" where mason's name should be.

Keep Reading Show less
True

A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
popular

Funny how a 'new' male problem is a very old problem for women. Amy Poehler explains.

Not many people are brave enough to talk back to the guy who co-created "Chappelle's Show" when he says something kinda clueless. But not many people are Amy Poehler.

Men struggle to comprehend the pressures women feel. The same is true of women!

Gah! We'll never get along.

This conversation between comedian Neal Brennan and Amy Poehler is a pretty good example of how hard it can be to figure life out sometimes.

Neal, the genius who co-created "Chappelle's Show," sat down with Amy for his show "The Approval Matrix." The topic? WHAT are men supposed to be now? Cool? Adorkable? Both? Neither?

Keep Reading Show less
via UDOT / Facebook

In December 2018, The Utah Department of Transportation opened the largest wildlife overpass in the state, spanning 320 by 50 feet across all six lanes of Interstate 80.

Its construction was intended to make traveling through the I-80 corridor in Summit County safer for motorists and the local wildlife.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that there were over 100 animal incidents on the interstate since 2016, giving the stretch of highway the unfortunate nickname of "Slaughter Row."

Keep Reading Show less