Like many across the U.S. this time of year, Christopher Yancy is celebrating a huge milestone: He's on his way to high school in the fall.
But as Yancy and his classmates prepared to bid farewell to Georgia's Mill Creek Middle School on May 23, he was presented with a special honor during the graduation ceremony: the award for excellence in kindness.
After his name was called, the surprised eighth-grader was seen on video running up to the stage after giving high-fives to students in the front row, and then dancing as he accepted his certificate.
Yancy, 15, of Woodstock, Georgia, was born with Down syndrome. His mother, Brenda Page, who took the video and posted it on social media, told ABC News on Thursday that Yancy had always been happy, even when he was a baby.
"He wakes up every single day happy. ... I don’t know of too many teenagers who wake up every day happy," she said jokingly.
In the video, the student body could be heard and seen after Yancy received the award cheering along with him.
Page, who told ABC News that she'd said to her mother when he was a baby that he'd make an impact, said the other students' reactions had sent her "over the moon."
"I was so exceedingly proud of him. ... In front of 1,500 students, he was awarded the Kindness Award. ... That just filled my heart, absolutely filled my heart," she said.