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Student gives classmates heartwarming parting gift

Philip Sossou used his amazing talent to uplift fellow seniors

When someone takes the time to sketch your portrait, you feel honored.

Well, 18-year-old Phillip Sossou, a graduating senior at Boston Latin School in Boston, surprised his classmates last week by honoring them with individual portraits — 411 of them.

He sketched the faces of every student and showcased the charcoal portraits in the school’s hallways on the last day of class.

“Our class has been kind of divided,” Sossou told the Boston Globe. “Having these pictures helps us to embrace our diversity.”

The Boston Latin School is a prestigious public school established in 1635. Most consider it the first public school and oldest existing school in the United States. But, it recently became the face of negativity after reported incidents of racism.

Sossou decided they needed a pick-me-up. For four months, he studied the physical characteristics of his classmates’ faces and carefully put those moments to his sketch pad. When he was finally finished and was ready to reveal what he’d been doing in his spare time, he carefully hanged the portraits on the school’s first-floor walls.

They were gifts straight from Sossou’s heart.

The Boston Globe reported that “the drawings — taped above the school’s purple lockers, near doorways, and along the hallway — aim to change a negative narrative around Sossou’s beloved school.”

“I was trying to show everyone in a positive light,” he said.

Kelley Evans is a general editor at The Undefeated. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.