A 7-year-old boy from Rhode Island is spreading his message of positivity and inclusiveness worldwide thanks to viral videos on YouTube and Instagram.
It all started about three years ago when Rowyn Montgomery was picked on by other kids for his appearance.
"When he was around 4, he was picked on for having a unibrow, and he was kind of upset about that," Rowyn's mother, Michelle Montgomery, said.
Montgomery did what any other parent would do. She explained to Rowyn that every person is different and that it didn't matter how others felt about him; it only mattered what he thought about himself.
Armed with his newfound positive attitude, Rowyn asked his mom if he could share his experience with others.
"He came up to me, and he wanted to start making videos so that other kids — if they were getting picked on, or if they were just having a hard time — could watch his videos and feel better," Montgomery said.
Rowyn and his mom have made several videos about the young boy's experience over the last three years. They share his inspirational messages on their YouTube channel and Instagram page, which they named "Rollin' with Rowyn."
Rowyn says the videos have helped "quite a bit" with his experience in school — but they're also having an impact around the world.
Montgomery says viewers have reached out to the family from as far away as Australia and India — and it's not just children that Rowyn's positive attitude has inspired.
"Most of it is adults and teenagers because a lot of kids his age don't really have social media. But they've been showing it to their kids," Montgomery said. "A lot of them said that it's exactly what they needed to hear, that it really helped them; they were going through a hard time, and it really helped them feel better."
"It's been such a cool experience. Just knowing the videos are helping other people has been really, really cool," Montgomery added.
Rowyn says he hopes to hear from more of his followers so he can further spread his message.
"They could probably, like, send me a couple of videos about how they used to be picked on, and I can try and give them more information so they can stop being picked on," Rowyn said.
In a few weeks, Rowyn will return to school at Ranger Elementary in Tiverton, Rhode Island, for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. He looks forward to seeing his friends and classmates once again with renewed confidence.