ANTIOCH, Calif. (KGO) -- A Scrooge nearly ruined Christmas for an Antioch High School 10th grader by stealing his Nintendo 3DS game system. Sean Hawkins is not just a gamer he is planning his future around video gaming. But, this Christmas story has a happy ending thanks to the generosity of classmates and teachers.
High school is rarely picture-perfect. But the right friends, in the right situation, can restore your faith in people. Meet 10th grader Shawn Hawkins. He said, "I want to work at Nintendo when I grow up."
That's why his Nintendo 3DS is more than just a toy, it's a beacon to his future. And why it hit Shawn so hard when it was stolen from school during gym class earlier this month. He told ABC-7 News, "My backpack was too big, so I couldn't put it inside my locker. So I just put it near my locker."
He was devastated when it was stolen. He even wrote a note on the school's community whiteboard begging for its return. Now, this story could have ended right there, if not for a couple of caring friends. One of them is 11th grader Shawna Cantiliano. "He's a sweet kid and he doesn't do anything wrong to anyone. And it's really bad for him," she said.
So friends Shawna and Piper Stowe secretly began collecting money from students and faculty to buy him a new one. A dollar here, $5 there -- persevering, even when the mean kids spoke out, according to Shawna. "I told a couple of people I was raising money and they were like oh that kid who got his DS stolen, that's funny, I said, 'That's not funny.'"
Piper even took cellphone video of the emotional day they presented Shawn with a new DS.
She said, " I think we need to learn to appreciate these moments more and to induce them more."
Antioch High Principal Louie Rocha told us it was a win-win and a positive example: "Shawn, I think, found out that people care about and are looking out for him. And for Shawna and Piper, I think the rewards of giving were pretty special as well."
It was also a truly teachable moment, and you didn't even have to be a teacher.