Forrest County Agricultural High School’s recently concluded Homecoming was filled with lots of love and bittersweet tears, all thanks to a student’s unforgettable act of kindness toward her classmate.
Brittany Walters and Nyla Covington, both seniors at FCAHS, were selected as Senior Maids for this year’s Homecoming Court. During halftime of the Mississippi school’s football game against West Marion, Nyla was named the 2021 Homecoming Queen.
But instead of relishing her moment of glory, Nyla walked over to Brittany, took the tiara off her head, and crowned her fellow student.
The sweet moment between the two queens was captured by parents and fans watching from the football stands. There wasn’t a dry eye in the stadium as onlookers realized the meaning behind Nyla’s selfless act of giving her crown.
“I watched as she asked Principal (Will) Wheat and (District Superintendent) Dr. (Donna) Boone if she could pass her crown to Brittany, and I don’t even remember recording the moment through the tears, but here y’all go. So much class and a moment no one will ever forget,” wrote FCAHS parent Erica Sherrill Owens on Facebook, alongside photos and a video from the ceremony.
Brittany was there in body, but not in mind, as she had just lost her mother, A.J. Walters, to cancer that morning. Still, she bravely dressed up and attended the event with her dad to fulfill her mom’s wish.
Knowing she wouldn’t make it, A.J. asked her husband to be with Brittany during the special day.
“She made me promise her that I was going to come out here with Brittany because she didn’t want to ruin her day, her homecoming day,” Sean Walters, Brittany’s dad, said. “She said that’s something she’ll remember for the rest of her life.”
So, the pair held it together, suited up, and drove to the school for Homecoming. Despite looking strong on the outside, Brittany was missing her mom terribly.
“All I could think about was my mom and how she wanted to be here, and then the next thing I know, Nyla walked towards me, and she hugged me,” she recalled of the unexpected moment.
When Nyla walked over to her and gave her a hug, Brittany thought it was merely a show of support. But when she started taking off her crown, she knew her classmate had other plans.
Nyla knew Brittany’s mom, who worked as an Administrative Assistant at the school. She said she had often been amazed by her spirit and kindness, as had many others at FCAHS.
“She’s like the person that I want everybody to be like, honestly, cause she just smiled,” she said.
School principal Will Wheat couldn’t agree more, saying, “Her spirit is what made her special. Even on the hardest days, even battling cancer, she always had a smile on her face.”
A.J.’s kindness compelled Nyla to give her crown to Brittany, feeling that it was important for her to remember something beautiful on a day full of sorrow.
“I told her it belonged to her, and then she was, like, backing away,” Nyla recalled. “I was like, ‘No, come here, get it, you’re your mom’s queen.’ I wanted her to know that, and then I hugged her.”
That simple display of kindness transformed a sad night into one of love and beautiful memories. Brittany said she felt her mom’s presence through Nyla.
“I feel like this is her way of still touching people, ’cause that’s what she lived her whole life around,” she said. “My mom would have done the same thing if she was in Nyla’s shoes.”
There was a lot of love on the stadium that day, and it’s all because of this young lady’s beautiful gesture! Witness the touching moment as it happened in the video below.
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