Student raises money for teacher living in his car

When searching for “Gen Z” on Google, some of the first results do not paint our upcoming generation in a positive light. Searches include: “Gen Z is soft,” “Gen Z is too sensitive,” “Gen Z is toxic,” Gen Z is cringe,” “Gen Z is garbage,” and the icing on the cake: “Gen Z is the Dumbest Generation.”

Not only are these searches a stark generalization of the most educated and diverse generation on record, but they also fall victim to the internet’s tendency to fall into the trap of negativity bias. If there is no positive news about a group of people, they will be disproportionately seen as negative. We at the Positive Identity prefer to showcase the deeds of amazing humans, which Gen Z’ers undoubtedly can fall into.

One such example would be the students and former students of substitute teacher Jose Villarruel, who raised thousands of dollars for Villarruel after discovering the beloved teacher had been living in his car for 8 years. Let us continue to pen stories about Gen Z: “Gen Z is kind,” “Gen Z is compassionate,” “Gen Z wants to make the world a better place.” Hopefully, by highlighting these acts, we can help inspire others to reciprocate kindness and help those around them.

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