Even a busy celebrity like Robin Williams made the time to help someone when he knew it was the right thing to do.
Lisa Jakub was just 14 years old when she was kicked out of high school for accruing too many absences. At the time, she had been on set filming Mrs. Doubtfire with late actor and comedian Robin Williams. But instead of showing leniency for such a fantastic opportunity, the school expelled her.
"Being thrown out of school at age fourteen was devastating," Jakub told A Plus. "I had been living an unusual life as an actor since I was four years old, so losing the one thing that was "normal" in my life was difficult."
The next day, when Jakub came to work, she was visibly upset — as any teenager would be. Noticing her in distress, Williams asked what happened. When he found out, he took action in the form of a letter to the school.
"The fact that Robin, unprompted, took the time to write the letter and defend me was incredibly meaningful," Jakub said. "I was just some kid he was working with for a few months — he didn't need to put himself out for me. But he was a kind and generous person who thought he could help, so he didn't hesitate."
Unfortunately, Williams' letter didn't do much to move the school. Jakub wrote in a farewell to the actor that the school framed and hung up his letter, but never allowed her to come back. Still, the lessons she learned from years of acting and time on different sets were invaluable, and the gesture that Williams made has stuck with her for the rest of her life.
"I learned how to be part of a cohesive team who was working together on a creative project and I learned how to play craps with teamsters," Jakub said. "I learned how to work 18-hour days and how to cry on cue. I learned how to do an Eastern European accent and how to deal with sexual harassment. It wasn't what most kids were doing, but it felt kind of normal for me."
Jakub's story is two-pronged reminder: positive life experience can come from many different places, and you never know what a small act of kindness can do for someone.