Meet Skylar and Maddy
In 2018, Center High School in Antelope, California brought the Best Buddies Friendship Program to their school for the first time.
Becca is the mom of Skylar, who joined Best Buddies during its founding year and shared, “Best Buddies was one of the most amazing happenings in my daughter’s life, on the social front! It was when my daughter was 17 and stayed home sick from school that her friend, Maddy, called to see how she was doing, to make sure she was ok, as Maddy noticed she wasn’t at school that day. I cried because this had never happened before. No friends ever called to check in on Skylar – who has a rare neurological disorder called Rett Syndrome. Alas, life for my daughter is not easy, but it shouldn’t have ever been lonely – Best Buddies agrees with that philosophy.”
Maddy recognized the challenges that anyone can have in making friends in high school and wanted her peers to feel included and accepted so she signed up to be a part of Best Buddies at club sign ups her sophomore year, the first year Best Buddies was offered at Center. Skylar was a senior at the time and the two were matched and able to spend that year getting to know each other through the various events and hangouts put on by the club. The school year ended in them being able to celebrate Skylar’s graduation.
Since then, their friendship continues to evolve. “Skylar and I both like watching movies and we are both pretty big Disney fans. We went and saw Frozen 2 in theaters when it came out and other than that, we like to take walks whether it’s around the neighborhood or around the mall.”
COVID-19 hasn’t gotten in the way of their friendship either. For Skylar’s 20th birthday this year Maddy joined the family to watch Kipo and eat sushi, and although the annual Best Buddies Friendship Walk was virtual due to COVID, the two celebrated together by safely walking in their neighborhood instead. Since then they have decided to make it a point to have monthly get togethers to prioritize their friendship.
When asked what she would say to anyone who hasn’t been involved in Best Buddies before, Maddy says, “Being in the program and meeting the most amazing and kindest people is so worth joining. I am really glad I joined the Best Buddies program, otherwise I wouldn’t have made so many cool new friends like Sky.”