Elyssa and Bretlyn met in Kindergarten, were fortunate enough to attend the same middle school and are now in high school together. The girls have been on the cheer-leading squad together since middle school. Their relationship is based on what every friendship should be – mutual acceptance of each other; respect and trust in each other and shared interests (mostly shopping, high heels and makeup!). As Bretlyn says, “We had a special connection and I immediately knew we’d be friends.” Bretlyn has been an advocate for Elyssa from the beginning of their friendship, helping to positively shape others thoughts about people with Down syndrome and other disabilities. Equally, Elyssa has always held Bretlyn with high regard while navigating the sometimes difficult teenage years. Their friendship even cultivated friendships between the two families as Elyssa’s brother befriended Bretlyn’s brother, who happens to have Down syndrome too. The friendship formed has taught Elyssa and Bretlyn to exercise compassion and other attributes that will contribute to their future successes and accomplishments.