SAN ANTONIO -- Genaro Coronado was steeped in excitement on his way to school Wednesday morning. He and his mother had prayed for his success. When he got to school, the sixth-grader went to the flag pole and waited.
"I was just waiting," Coronado said. "I knew God was going to do something."
Coronado organized National See You at the Pole Day at Vale Middle School. Since 1990, the grassroots movement has spread across the country. Every September, students voluntarily meet at their school's flag pole in praise and prayer.
Two dozen students is what Coronado expected to join him. But the clock kept ticking. It was just him, his paperback Bible and his yellow sign with "awaken" in black letters.
His mother, Melodee Gutierrez, sat in the family van, filled with hope for her son. Even though he stood alone at the flag pole, she was proud of him.
"You know, whenever you take your stand in God, even if you stand alone, you're being faithful to God," Gutierrez said.
Suddenly, one girl meandered over and grabbed the middle schooler's sign. The relief was evident on his face. The faith grew in his heart.
"It felt weird kinda, but I just prayed that God would bring me more people. And he did," he said.
He and the girl began to pray. The two of them asked God to look over their school, their classmates, the school's staff, local government officials, San Antonio's mayor, the president of the United States and much more.
They stood at the pole as a line of cars flooded onto the school grounds. His mother's pride continued to grow. She stood in his shoes when she was a middle school student.
Gutierrez recalls being in front of the flag pole waiting for someone to join her in prayer. No one ever did.
"I got discouraged a little bit, " she admitted. "But God is faithful, and I stood there and prayed."
Things were beginning to look up for her son. Five others walked across to join him. He started to pray with them.
Coronado walked away happy. His praying, he said, will continue because at the pole on Wednesday, he saw first hand that prayers are answered.