By Lisa

Joshua is 18 years old and is a senior at Riverside Brookfield High school (RB) in Riverside, IL. Joshua has outstanding school spirit. He attends most school sporting events (Girls, Boys, Varsity, JV, etc… Football, basketball Volleyball etc.). He’s a part of the “Sixth” man cheering squad at basketball events. Josh is very proud of his school and has incredible team spirit. He himself plays Special Needs basketball, runs track and has represented RB twice in the Special Olympics. He has gold and bronze medals in the “Tennis Ball throw” event. Josh is also an active part of the phenomenal “Best Buddies” program.

Josh delivers mail at school and greets all that he encounters with the most sincere welcome, hugs, high fives etc. His genuine, sincere and infectious love for people, and ability to see goodness in all, has spread throughout the school. It’s been quite amazing the reception and warmth that he has received from the student body and faculty. Almost everyone knows who Josh is. He simply brightens your day by offering you the most sincere and heartfelt hello. He has big dreams (a huge mansion with a pool and of course an on-site McDonalds and Starbucks etc….) In other words, with Josh, everything is possible and achievable. He likes to say “It’s all about being who you are, follow your dreams, and do your best.” We think Josh’s popularity is just a human response to his unconditional love and affection for others.

At first, when Joshua was nominated for Homecoming King, he was very surprised, excited and a little nervous. The day of the Pep Rally and crowning, as he rode in with the homecoming court, the student body went crazy. We knew at that moment that there truly was a special connection with Josh and the student body. Josh crossed his fingers and sat anxiously as he awaited the announcement of the Queen and King. When his named was called for KING, he was kind of in shock. He was so very excited! Amazingly, and most importantly all of the other candidates cheered and congratulated Josh with the most sincere and genuine happiness that he had won. He wore (and wears) his crown with pride. It was truly an incredible moment in his and our lives.

We think that an article written by the student staff for the School Newspaper (Clarion) “We just couldn’t wait for him to be King” sums up things better than we could (bclarion.com/top-stories/2014/09/25/staff-editorial-we-just-couldnt-wait-for-him-to-be-king/). We can’t say enough about how wonderful and proud we are of the kids and staff at Riverside Brookfield High School. Josh’s high school experience has exceeded our highest and wildest expectations. We can’t put into words how compassionate, understanding, mature and really just awesome these young adult students have been. They mean the world to Josh and to us.

Ann Garcia

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