Wil Wheaton got his acting start as Gordie Lachance in 'Stand By Me' but most people know him best from his role as Wesley Crusher on 'Star Trek: The Next Generation.' Wil's run on the show wrapped up in 1994, and he's since established himself as a very successful voice actor and blogger, but you can still catch him making the rounds at comic + sci-fi conventions each summer.
Last year at Denver Comicon, Wil was participating in an audience Q&A when a young woman asked him if he had ever been called a 'nerd' when he was in school. Here was his response:
As inspiring as his advice was, it sort of came and went without making much of a splash online. Wil didn't know it at the time, but his advice would make a HUGE impact in that young girl's life!
Jump ahead to today and you'll find the video trending on Reddit and nearing the 1 million view mark on YouTube, but why now? I'll let the little girl's Mother + Father explain:
"That was my daughter. She and the girl that bullied her are cool with each other this year. They aren’t in the same class, though. This year has been a good year, but she noticed another little girl in her class kept getting picked on by the other students. She became this girl’s friend and stands up for her when the other kids are being mean. We’ve talked about this moment a lot. After this panel, she paid to get her picture taken with Wil. He actually hugged her!"
"That was my daughter that asked that question. This was a magical moment for the whole family. What you might not get from the sound of all the applause is that there wasn’t a dry eye in the room after this. Mia met Wil again briefly at the Kansas city con this year, and he was as gracious and cool as you could have hoped. They talked about minecraft, ballet, mistakes, and silliness. Wil Wheaton, you are an honorary member of this family and I hope you know that you have made a real impact on Mia and the rest of us silly nerds. I wish you nothing but the greatest success."
How cool is that! Wil took to his blog to comment on the surprising resurgence of the footage, and I think this little excerpt from those comments is a perfect way to wrap this inspiring story up:
"I really try my best to be the person I want other people to be. I don’t always succeed, but when I see things like this, and hear from people who have been touched or inspired by something I said or did in a positive way, it reminds me how important it is to do everything we can to be awesome."