Dad delights crowd with a literally over-the-top celebration at his kid's graduation

We all need supportive cheerleaders in our lives, and when they come in the form of our own parents, it's even better.

At every one of my performances, awards ceremonies, and graduations growing up, my dad would bellow in his big, booming voice, "THAT'S MY DAUGHTER!!!" As embarrassing as it was, it always made the whole room chuckle and I never had a single doubt that my dad was proud of me.

A dad in a viral video brought that same energy—and some impressive acrobatic skill—to his own kid's graduation. The video first made the viral rounds in 2016 and has gotten a resurgence on social media this week. After a year of constantly shifting pandemic schooling, which was hard on students, parents, teachers, and administrators, a joyful celebration of an educational milestone just feels right to share.

For some kids, graduating is just a given—an occasion to mark, but not necessarily an enormously significant event. For others, the road to graduation is filled with obstacles, pitfalls, detours, and rough conditions that make that achievement worthy of a jubilant expression of pride.

This is just pure, unbridled celebration you can feel in your bones. (Especially when he flips back over that railing. Dang.)

Interestingly, some commenters feel that the man's exuberance was too much, that it put the attention on him instead of his kid. Maybe it's because I had the dad I had, but this display of joy and pride felt like it was all about the kid. We don't know what parents go through to help their kids overcome challenges. We don't know how close this kid came to not graduating. We don't know if the kid actually excelled and this dad is simply overjoyed at how his offspring fulfilled their own dreams.

The only thing we know for sure is that this family is happy and proud and that this dad let those emotions overtake him. Imagine someone cheering for you and your achievements with this much enthusiasm. This kind of unbridled joy is something our world needs more of, not less.

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather

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While most 10-year-olds are playing Minecraft, riding bikes, or watching YouTube videos, Justin Sather is intent on saving the planet. And it all started with a frog blanket when he was a baby.

"He carried it everywhere," Justin's mom tells us. "He had frog everything, even a frog-themed birthday party."

In kindergarten, Justin learned that frogs are an indicator species – animals, plants, or microorganisms used to monitor drastic changes in our environment. With nearly one-third of frog species on the verge of extinction due to pollution, pesticides, contaminated water, and habitat destruction, Justin realized that his little amphibian friends had something important to say.

"The frogs are telling us the planet needs our help," says Justin.

While it was his love of frogs that led him to understand how important the species are to our ecosystem, it wasn't until he read the children's book What Do You Do With An Idea by Kobi Yamada that Justin-the-activist was born.

Inspired by the book and with his mother's help, he set out on a mission to raise funds for frog habitats by selling toy frogs in his Los Angeles neighborhood. But it was his frog art which incorporated scientific facts that caught people's attention. Justin's message spread from neighbor to neighbor and through social media; so much so that he was able to raise $2,000 for the non-profit Save The Frogs.

And while many kids might have their 8th birthday party at a laser tag center or a waterslide park, Justin invited his friends to the Ballona wetlands ecological preserve to pick invasive weeds and discuss the harms of plastic pollution.

Justin's determination to save the frogs and help the planet got a massive boost when he met legendary conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall.

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather

At one of her Roots and Shoots youth initiative events, Dr. Goodall was so impressed with Justin's enthusiasm for helping frogs, she challenged the young activist to take it one step further and focus on plastic pollution as well. Justin accepted her challenge and soon after was featured in an issue of Bravery Magazine dedicated to Jane Goodall.

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Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

As it turns out, underdog stories can have cats as the main character.

Purrington Cat Lounge, where "adoptable cats roam freely and await your visit" and patrons can pay a small entry fee for the chance to sip coffee alongside feline friends, boasted legendary adoption rates since its conception in January 2015.

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