Paying it Forward
Lahainaluna students take Best Buddies program to heart with life-changing results.
March 12, 2018—Joanne and Alex Mendoza were running errands in Wailuku one day when, to their surprise, their teenage son Joshua walked up to a friend and eagerly said, “Hello.”
Joshua Mendoza was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3, and social anxiety is a part of everyday life. So to watch him approach a friend in public was a big deal to his parents, and part of the reason they moved to Maui in the first place.
“This kid really came out of his shell, not just in school, but everywhere since we moved here,” Joanne Mendoza said.
Maui has held more blessings than the Mendoza family expected, including the recent announcement that Joshua Mendoza will be the recipient of an all-expenses-paid graduation party, a pay-it-forward event started by a local couple and their son for Maui kids in the Best Buddies program.