Fifth Grade Valley Oak Elementary School
By Trent Thompson 1995
My mom says I have the ability to make friends with other people. I think that is because I try to be kind to others. I think it is important to be able treat others as I would like to be treated.
I think people like me because I do try to be nice and friendly to other people. When someone is sad I try to cheer them up. I also like to make people laugh. I try to never make fun of anyone because I know what it feels like to have people make fun of you. When I was younger I had a really high voice and people teased me a lot because of it. I think it is much better to be kind to people. I want to make others feel good about themselves. It makes me feel good to help others and be their friend.
Tributes to Trent from those who knew Trent
Freshman Briana Hedrick wrote:
Trent has been there for me since 3rd grade that was the first time I ever met Trent. I was in the 3rd grade and Trent was in the 6th grade. I was new at Valley Oak Elementary School and I didn’t know anyone. It was my first day at school and I was on the monkey bars before school and got stuck. My little arm was too weak to move and I started screaming, crying, and I was so scared. Trent saw me and came up to me and said, “Hi, I’m Trent; don’t be scared, I’m just going to put you down.” He got me down and asked me if I knew where my class was and I said,“No.” Then he asked who my teacher was and I told him, and then he held my hand and walked me to my class. He was the first person I met at Valley Oak. I knew from then that Trent was an awesome kid.
I am going to miss his lovely personality that made you feel so wonderful after talking to him. Most of all, I am going to miss the feeling that you would get when he looked at you or just walked by. The feeling that just made you smile. Trent was not only a tremendous athlete, he was a role model who helped and touched many. He was the nicest guy you would ever want to meet. Trent was a special person. He was sent to earth to start his work, and when he was finished, God took him back.
Jordan Gustafson was interviewed by the Clovis West School newspaper after Trent’s death and said, “In Clovis Unified, administrators have set a standard of “Character Counts.” When I think of Trent Thompson, the phrase “Character Counts” shortly follows. He had the utmost respect for others. To him a person’s age, gender, race or even school didn’t matter. He treated everyone equally. He gained the respect from the Clovis High Basketball program, along with that of other schools in the area. Not only did he possess fairness and respect, he was also responsible and trustworthy. I knew that I could always rely on Trenton for encouraging words that were honest and heartfelt. He was very mature and strong in his faith. I highly admire his parents for raising two incredible young men. He set such an outstanding example to his peers. I am thankful for his friendship and he is truly missed.”
Carlo Prandini, the principal of Trent’s high school, told us of his great love for Trent. He made the comment during a television press conference about Trent’s death that he hoped his own son would develop the qualities of exceptional character that Trent possessed. He told the press, “He was the type of a kid that you just wanted to be around and that other kids wanted to play with and hang out with. Trent was a role model for the youth in his community. He was very well respected by adults and by his peers. He was a real nice solid kid and a real gentleman.”
Alex – Clovis West Leadership Student
In life there are people you love, people you like, and people you will never forget. Trent Thompson is one person I love, like and will never forget. Trent was more than a Clovis West Golden Eagle; he was the heart of the school. Never have I ever met a man with such kindness, compassion, generosity, a man with such a pure heart that not only took the extra step to help but would keep stepping until he made that person feel special.
I know that Trent touched so many people not because he wanted to be the most popular, but because he did it out of the kindness of his heart. He was as perfect of a person as you can get. I am grateful for the chance to have known such
Those who shared their feelings after hearing Trent’s Story
A man who attended Baccalaureate commented:
I was in attendance Friday night during your unparalleled presentation. I don’t remember ever having been so moved by a message, not just because of the content of the message, but also because of the unselfish generosity that brought the presenters to the place of delivery.
How the two of you have been able to take a tragedy and move it to a place of learning, a place of sharing, and a place of optimism is nothing short of Trent’s spirit guiding you down God’s path. Trent has a legacy that he has established thru the both of you. How fortunate all of you are to have had each other, even for a short time. How fortunate you will be to have each other again at Heaven’s gate.
Thank you for giving us a part of your hearts so that our hearts and souls could hear, listen and be changed. You will never know whom you have reached or how you have reached them. Be assured, however, that every person who heard you was reached in a deeply positive way.
Those who were touched by hearing about Trent’s life in our Presentations
Letters and Notes from Notes from several high school students:
My name is Alyssa and I’m a junior at Buchanan. I go to Clovis West for ROP and attended the Human Relation’s assembly on Wednesday, November 3. I know you get a lot of these letters, but I would just like you to know that what you’ve done has completely turned my life around. I’ve been going through some tough times with my family. We’ve been going to counseling for the past seven months and I was really worried about where we were going. Because of this, I never really talked to them. Then, I came and heard you two speak about this wonderful boy and how amazing he was and my heart broke. I felt your pain. I cried all the way home and talked to my mom when I got home for about two hours apologizing for everything I had done. I realized that we only have one life and we need to make it wonderful.
Now all I can think about is Trent and his caring heart… and I didn’t even know him. I never met him, but he has changed me. God has showed me a sign. He has opened my eyes, to have His heart. I just want to thank you enormously because you two have helped me. I love you for that. I know Trent was who he was because of you two. You taught him well.
I am not sure you understand, but I hope what you do understand is that you are great people who should never stop telling your story, to change people’s lives, as you did mine. Thank you so much…”
Notes from several students from several high schools:
Thank you so much for coming and taking the time to talk with us. You really inspired me and the stories that you told really made me think. I am so blessed that I had the opportunity to learn about Trent. What amazes me most is that even though he is in a better place, he is still touching so many lives, and I am one of those. Your talk to us has deeply had an effect on me and how I live my life. —Stephanie
I met Trent about two years ago at Leadership camp. From the minute that he shook my hand he changed my life forever. I have heard Trent’s story twice and both times it really changed my perspective on life. I hope that one day I raise my children to be as wonderful and true as Trent was. Thank you so much.
Thank you so much for coming to our classes and sharing your story. I never met your son but from what you told us he was an inspiration. He has been to me. Trent inspired me to be a better person. I will always have his memory in my heart and I will try to live by his words, “It’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice”. —Caroline
Trent Thompson inspired me because of how he acted and how he treated others. He was a role model who represented every Character Counts pillar. He has left his mark on this community. What I have learned from Trent is to give and you get back. If anyone is new in school then you should help them out and guide them around campus. From Trent’s example, I learned that no deed is left unnoticed. I will always remember Trent and his imprint on my life.
Shirley Boswell, who invited us to speak to their youth of her church commented:
Thank you for opening your hearts to the youth in our area in sharing the stories of your wonderful son and the tender experiences that have come to your family. As I looked in the eyes of those in the audience, I knew that your message was finding its mark. Trent, through you, is continuing to make a difference in changing for the better, people’s perceptions, choices, and priorities. Listening to your presentation is such a beautiful expression of a mother and father’s love, grief, survival, faith, endurance, and unselfishness. My heart aches with yours at the great loss you bear and rejoices with you at the miracles that are unfolding.