John Foster and Patrick Saathoff
Friendship program – High Schools
John has been a part of Best Buddies since 2011. He is a part of the Bishop Moore School of Friendships program. John loves Best Buddies and spending time with his buddy, Patrick. Patrick and John have been matched for the past three years that John has been a part of the chapter. Patrick and John spend quality time together outside of school at sporting events, going to lunch, and driving around town. There is a clear unconditional bond between the two boys. “Best Buddies has allowed the students to learn how to be honest in a friendship. John has learned how to have a friend and value his friend,” said Mrs. Harvey, the Bishop Moore Faculty Advisor.
Before Best Buddies John was reserved and did not have the confidence to talk to other people. John had the opportunity to participate in the Best Buddies Ambassador Program and learn how to be a self-advocate and present a speech in a room full of people. Patrick was his speech coach and worked with him on presenting in front of a crowd of two hundred. “John opened up and did a fantastic job showing the group how incredible he truly is,” said Bishop Moore student Julia. Best Buddies has not only helped further develop John’s abilities, but helped Patrick, John’s peer buddy as well. “John has taught me to be a kinder, loving person. He is one of my best friends. I have learned so much from him,” said Patrick.
Since John has joined Best Buddies he has developed leadership skills and other quality friendships. John is able to spend time with other members of the Best Buddies program and feel confident. He loves teaching other people to dance and showing off his singing skills. John wanted to be a part of the Best Buddies program since the minute he knew about the program. John’s main hope is to keep his friendship with Patrick even after they graduate high school.
Best Buddies has even affected the families of John and Patrick. They have been able to get to know each other and truly value each other. John’s parents are thankful for Patrick and the time he has taken to get to know John and build a quality friendship. John had other friends before Patrick, but none of them truly took the time to get to know him and spend time with him outside of school. “The relationship John and Patrick have created is lasting,” said John’s dad. “Without Patrick, I am not sure if John would have been able to experience the little things that other kids his age get to. John wouldn’t have had some of the opportunities he has had if it wasn’t for Best Buddies and Patrick,” said John’s mom.
Friendship is something others take for granted, but not John. John knows the power of friendship and he values his friendship that has been made possible through his time in the Best Buddies program.