Not every superhero fights crime.
At a time when people may be feeling burnt out by the negativity surrounding the presidential election, a caped crusader has swooped in to Boston to save the day.
“Captain Encouragement” has been spotted around the city this week, donning a bright yellow cape and a costume bearing a smiley face. With him he carries a poster offering complete strangers words of advice on how to rise up from feeling down.
“Some people [when they see me] will be grumpy, and you can tell,” said Nicholas Domingo, the man behind the mask. “Then they read the first line on the sign, and they think that I’m selling them something. But when they get to the last one, you kind of see the shell open on the person and they just smile really big.”
Domingo isn’t a native of Boston. He arrived here this week for the Forbes Under 30 summit, a three-day event geared toward millennials striving to make it big.
While visiting, the 25-year-old has stayed in character, walking around Boston, at times, in his superhero outfit and giving out hugs, high-fives, and holding up his sign.
The sign he carries has a clear message aimed at lifting people’s spirits. It reminds people, in four lines, that they’re “amazing,” “brilliant,” “beautiful,” and “loved.”
Domingo’s act isn’t just a one-time shtick.
Domingo has been playing the role of “Captain Encouragement” all around the country. His alter ego is part of a program launched with his company, Call to Inspire, that’s aimed at helping children deal with bullying and the complexities of the real world through compassion.
Domingo said his company is a part-time gig. When he’s not in costume, the California resident said, he works with adults with special needs.
Domingo said he was excited to attend the Forbes summit this week with the likes of Michael Phelps, Chrissy Teigen, and other stars. He said on Facebook that he felt fortunate to share a message of “love and compassion with the young, world-changing individuals” who gathered for the event.
When he wasn’t walking around the Forbes summit in his superhero gear, many found Domingo on the streets of Boston or riding the MBTA, his sign in hand. He plans on staying an extra day to take in the city’s sites.
Domingo also hopes to make a visit to Boston Children’s hospital to inspire young patients through his program.
Despite Boston’s reputation for being a home to curmudgeons with poor driving habits, Domingo said he’s had positive encounters with locals.
“I felt everyone seemed very nice,” he said. “I have had no negative experiences ... I’ve got more hugs from the big tough guys than I have a bunch of the other people.”