At Unicorn Children’s Foundation, we are dedicated to support families and individuals challenged by special needs. That is why we have a REST (Respite Education and Support Tools) certified trainer to train Companions and Trainers. One of our volunteers, Lachyn, was inspired to start a club after she completed a REST Training course with our Program Operations Coordinator, Ivonne Rodriguez! Here's her story in her own words...
High school is the time in our lives when we meet new people, create the biggest friendships, build the strongest connections with each other, and just enjoy our teen lives that are fulfilled with happiness and joy brought by loved people around us. However, we all have had moments in our lives when we felt lonely, as if we had no friends at all, and the only ones we could have relied on, were our family. In my experience, having a language barrier during my first years in America, made creating new friends, or even completely understand what was going on around me, extremely difficult, so most of the times, my only company was my family. These circumstances made me feel isolated from the rest of society, leading to a reduced self-esteem, and even ability to start a conversation.
Now, four years later, I went back to being social, as I realized that not understanding people because of not being able to speak the same language was normal; however, I started noticing that I was not the only one experiencing this problem. I was shocked by how many people would isolate themselves from everyone else, which I thought was wrong, so with a help of Ivonne Rodriguez, who I volunteer for at the Unicorn Children's Foundation, as well as a person who gave me an incredible opportunity to learn more about the Respite Care, I decided to start the Best Buddies Chapter at my school, West Boca Raton High School. I thought that children that have the most difficulty creating new friends, should have an opportunity to have the same high school experience as everyone else. Therefore, with a help of our amazing faculty advisor, Nancy Rademacker, club’s crew, and of course, Chrissy Reynoso, who made this all happen, we are on the way to our journey, consisting of wonderful new friendships.
Make a change now, join our mission to put an end to loneliness in our society.