STOCKTON -- Everyone is a superhero.
That was the focus in Stockton Saturday as hundreds of kids gathered to assume their roles as heroes. Kids flew through Sky Zone, learning that you don’t have to have a cape or need to be able to fly to be a hero.
Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs partnered with Health Net and Super Heroic footwear to create a super heroic day, meant to honor kids and provide them with free shoes, but more importantly, to build a foundation in their minds that they can be heroes every day.
"I think, often times, heroes are seen as aspiration of another," Mayor Tubbs said. "So, by re-framing the word and make it seem like, 'No, your pastor is a hero, your parent’s a hero, your coach is a hero,' I think it makes it more approachable. I think it allows children to see that they can make heroic contributions in their community."
Dallas Lee, who is in kindergarten, was still grasping the hero concept.
"Whenever I see a towel, I put it on me and I pretend like I’m flying," Dallas said.
Many others, however, were ready to become superheroes through good deeds.
"Helping other kids that are fighting cancer, stuff like that," said Jioni Gentry, an eighth grader.
That excitement rubbed off on the parents of the newfound heroes.
"They were like, 'Oh my God, we are superheroes. We never knew that.' And we were like, 'Of course, because you wake up every day, you go to school, you learn,'" said parent Christine McBurney. "It means a lot to them, just to be called superheroes like that. They’ve never expected to be called superheroes."
Health Net’s sponsorship helped the kids attend the event for free. The Super Heroic shoes, which each kid will receive next week, were designed by a man who used to design shoes for Nike.
A smile and some new shoes were paired with a hero’s mindset.
"Just keep on following your dreams, chasing your dreams," Jioni said. "Never doubt yourself, never say you can’t do it, because you always can do it."