This kid's heroic Valentine Box contest entry has won people's wry, non-crafty hearts.

This 10-year-old's Valentines Box has turned him into a viral hero.

In the age of Pinterest, where crafts have been taken to new, barely achievable heights, to see a kid come up with their own unique idea is impressive enough. But 10-year-old Sawyer took it to a whole other level, and now people are clamoring for this kid to be their life coach.

Like many classrooms around the country, Sawyer's fourth grade class held a contest last year to see who could create the coolest box to hold their classmates' Valentines. Instead of pulling out the colorful scrapbook paper, scissors, glue, and glitter like most kids, Sawyer grabbed a basic packing box and a black marker.


He cut a slot in the top of the box. Then, in printed letters, he wrote on the plain brown side of it, "Contests don't motivate me."

And that, folks, is how you earn the admiration of witty, wry, cynical, and non-crafty people everywhere.

Teliho shared a photo of the box on her Facebook page and says she burst out laughing when she first saw it.

Sawyer's mom, Beth Teliho, says Sawyer's box was hilarious, but not unexpected from her witty son.

"I literally doubled over laughing when he brought that box down," she told Upworthy. "I think he was a bit surprised I'd let him take it to school, but I was all for it because I thought it was honest and clever!"

Teliho is the award-winning author of the young adult novel "Order of Seven." And now Sawyer has his own award—for "Most Unexpected" in his class's Valentines box contest.

DYING 😂🤣😂😆There’s a contest at my 10yo’s school for best Valentine’s Day box. This is what my child made. I love him so much right now 🤣😂*edited to add* He freaking won “most unexpected” LMAO

Posted by Beth Teliho on Monday, February 12, 2018

"DYING," Teliho wrote in the photo caption. "There's a contest at my 10yo's school for best Valentine's Day box. This is what my child made. I love him so much right now." She later edited the post to add, "He freaking won 'most unexpected' LMAO."

The post has been shared 12,000 times.

Kids like Sawyer give us hope in a world where too few people are willing to question established norms.

Sawyer's box isn't just a witty dismissal of silly contests. It's a sign that he's not afraid to stand out, not afraid to buck the system, not afraid to participate in a way that upends people's expectations and wins people's hearts at the same time.

Teliho says this is par for the course for her son. "He's extremely witty and doesn't hold back....ever," she says. "Most of all, he loathes being forced into anything. He's very much his own person, which is admirable AF! I wish I had been that sure of myself at that age."

The responses from Sawyer's classmates and school community members were extremely positive, Teliho adds. He also started a trend. "The next day was pajama day, and a boy showed up in a t-shirt where he'd written 'Pajamas don't motivate me,'" says Teliho.

This kid is going places, I tell you. And a whole bunch of us are eager to tag along with him.

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Macy's and Girls Inc. believe that all girls deserve to be safe, supported, and valued. However, racial disparities continue to exist for young people when it comes to education levels, employment, and opportunities for growth. Add to that the gender divide, and it's clear to see why it's important for girls of color to have access to mentors who can equip them with the tools needed to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers.

Anissa Rivera is one of those mentors. Rivera is a recent Program Manager at the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc., a nonprofit focusing on the holistic development of girls ages 5-18. The goal of the organization is to provide a safe space for girls to develop long-lasting mentoring relationships and build the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to thrive now and as adults.

Rivera spent years of her career working within the themes of self and community empowerment with young people — encouraging them to tap into their full potential. Her passion for youth development and female empowerment eventually led her to Girls Inc., where she served as an agent of positive change helping to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

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Inspiring young women from all backgrounds is why Macy's has continued to partner with Girls Inc. for the second year in a row. The partnership will support mentoring programming that offers girls career readiness, college preparation, financial literacy, and more. Last year, Macy's raised over $1.3M for Girls Inc. in support of this program along with their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programming for more than 26,000 girls. Studies show that girls who participated are more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, score higher on standardized math tests, and be more equipped for college and campus life.

Thanks to mentors like Rivera, girls across the country have the tools they need to excel in school and the confidence to change the world. With your help, we can give even more girls the opportunity to rise up. Throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases or donate online to support Girls Inc. at Macys.com/MacysGives.

Who runs the world? Girls!

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Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

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Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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