When I was in 5th grade I was new to my school and pretty shy. I dressed a little differently than my classmates and did very well in class. My teacher was always pleased with my work and complimented it in front of the class; some of the more popular kids started calling me teacher's pet among other things and basically shunned me. No one would play with me at recess, hardly anyone would talk to me at all. I literally had one friend, and she was always nice to everyone. It was very upsetting at the time.
A month or so into the school year one of the really popular girls was having a birthday party, and she invited me! I was absolutely thrilled to be included in SOMETHING. I got there and she was super nice and it seemed she made a point to make sure I was included in all the games. We were fast friends after that, and all of a sudden I wasn't such an outsider. Other kids started playing with me, stopped calling me names, and I really felt accepted. That one girl reaching out to me really turned my whole year around. We were best friends for a long time after that.
Not too long after I told my niece the story, my sister told me that my niece invited one of the "weird" girls to hang out with her and her friends. Turns out she's not so weird; she's pretty cool actually, different but still cool. They've been friends ever since.
I guess the moral of my memory is to give others a chance even if they look, act, speak, or think differently than you do.