Best Buddies Month: JaciLynn and Austin
JaciLynn and Austin are in their second year of being paired up through Best Buddies, and their friendship is something truly special. In addition to hanging out on campus and at Best Buddies events, they also hang out outside of school every Wednesday. Together, they sing, spell, laugh, and take trips to the mall and the movies. Their favorite thing to do together is ride the carousel, and one of their favorite songs to sing is “The Ants Go Marching.”
“Since being paired together, Austin has come out of his shell,” recounts Michelle, Austin’s mother. “They have so much fun together, and their visits are the highlight of Austin’s week. We always know when it is Wednesday because he will excitedly let us know that JaciLynn is coming over. It has been so rewarding for us to watch him connect with a buddy and be able to experience normal social interactions.”
Like her buddy, JaciLynn has also come out of her shell thanks to their relationship. She admits that although it was initially intimidating to be paired with Austin, she now considers Austin to be one of her best friends.
“Austin is an inspiration to all,” JaciLynn said. “He smiles every single day, no matter what. It is so humbling to see someone who has so many limitations and barriers enjoy life so much. He has completely changed the way I look at life, in general.”
Both families agree that the Best Buddies friendship program has changed their lives, and feel blessed that it brought Austin and JaciLynn together.
March is #BestBuddiesMonth! Celebrate with us by sharing this story with your friends and family.