Paige Peterson & Brian Dunphy (Waukee High School)
Paige Petersen, the 2016-2017 Chapter President for the Waukee High School Best Buddies chapter first met her buddy Brian in the sixth grade. At the time, both Paige and Brian were attending Diamond Canyon Elementary in Phoenix, Arizona. Paige notes the following about her first interactions with Brian, “He used to come into my science class for a few minutes each day. I got to know him a little better through our mutual friend, Ashlynn, that had some classes with him. We weren’t super close, but always had fun together whenever we were in school together.”
In the seventh grade, Paige and her family moved away from Arizona to Montana and then eventually settled in Iowa. Coincidentally and unbeknownst to Paige, around that same time, Brian and his family moved to Iowa as well. As fate would have it, on a back-to-school night at their new school, Waukee High School, Paige just so happened to walk past the Special Education classroom.
Paige’s account relays the excitement of that moment in her life, “I stopped in my tracks and ran back to the room to say, “Hi!”, to Brian and his family to see if they remembered me! They did, and we talked about our old teachers and times in Arizona.” This incredible and inspiring tale of two friends reconnecting across a number of years and states is one for the archives. To see this friendship in action now, it is clear that they were always meant to find one another, and they are a model for true, genuine companionship.
Paige cites this once in a lifetime experience as life-changing and declares, “Reuniting with Brian is the reason I joined Best Buddies.” Paige and Brian’s friendship story is meaningful in many ways, as it is evidence of the power and impact a friendship can have on two people who are lucky enough to find each other. Best Buddies creates friendships every single day like the one Paige and Brian have. It may have taken years for the pair to reconnect, but Best Buddies was there to bring them back together at just the right time!