HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WSAV) – Thousands of people have taken part in local protests and rallies in recent weeks, but one teen is taking his dedication to a new level.
And he’s doing it all by himself.
“I saw there were protests still going on Nashville and felt bad about missing those,” said Nolan Felts.
He’s supposed to be on vacation with his family but Nolan decided something else was much more important — to try and make a statement, every single day on Hilton Head Island.
“I figured I could do something to help,” said Nolan. “I could do something that could make a change.”
The Nashville teen has been protesting at the bottom of the Cross Island Parkway on Hilton Head with a sign, and a drive to get the message out and to protest inequality.
“I was always under the impression that you would need something big and grand to make a statement but I’ve learned here that just isn’t the case,” Nolan said.
The 18 year old’s statement is seen right on his sign: Black Lives Matter.
“There are a lot of people here on vacation,” said Nolan, “I didn’t want these people to forget there was something very important going on in the country.”
It’s important enough to him that he has walked the median every day for five hours a day
“I went to where I thought the busiest area of the town would be and I have been holding up a sign ever since,” Nolan said.
His cause getting a little help from some friends who pass by in their cars.
“It is nice to hear a honk, most of them are happy honks,” he explained. “It lets me know that someone saw what I was doing and they liked it and it brightened up their day and that’s another thing that motivates me and keeps me out here.
“If you could see the back of my car, it is filled with empty water bottles and Gatorade bottles from people saying thank you for what you are doing.”
He’s also encountered people who don’t agree with him.
“I’ve definitely gotten some rude shouts and yells and rude hand gestures but those, I think, motivate me even more because those are the people I am trying to reach out to,” said Nolan. “Maybe if they see my sign they might look something up or a conversation may get started in their car that maybe makes them start to look at things differently and see things from a different perspective.”
That’s been the motivation for this lone protestor to stay in the heat, to keep walking, and to make a personal statement that he hopes resonates with the people of Hilton Head and the entire nation.
“Don’t give up never give up,” Nolan said. “If you stay persistent, if you keep fighting for what you believe in and you keep trying to do what you think is the right thing, then in time, it will come.
“I think I have made a change and i’m really proud of that.”
Nolan and his family leave Hilton Head on Saturday, but he says this will not be the end of his protest. He plans to get more involved back in Nashville in politics and in his community to make a difference.