Custodian and Autistic Student Form School Club to Keep Kids from Eating Lunch Alone

Custodian and Autistic Student Form School Club to Keep Kids from Eating Lunch Alone

December 7, 2021 by By Cathy Stack

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — High school custodian Lakira Isaac noticed that a 10th grader, Jonny Hickey, often ate alone in the school cafeteria. Jonny has autism, which makes social interactions difficult at times. One day, Lakira decided to join Jonny and the two became fast friends. The pair have now teamed up to make sure other students never have to sit alone in the cafeteria. Through their "Not Alone Club" at Johns Creek High School, students pledge to join a classmate who is sitting alone at lunch. More than 100 people have joined the club to date. Now, Jonny and Lakira aspire to take their club to every school.

Jonny often experienced anxiety and jitters on the first day of each new school year. He worried that he would struggle to make new friends. Thanks to Lakira, this year was different. He looked forward to joining his friend at lunch, and his whole world brightened. He would go home and talk excitedly about Lakira.

His mother noticed the positive difference in her son. He appeared happier and more confident, and looked forward to going to school. It was clear to his mother just how much Lakira’s friendship meant to Jonny, and she wanted all kids to experience the same positive transformation. So, with Jonny and Lakira, she brainstormed the idea of forming a friendship-building club in their school. They envisioned an inclusive club where every student was welcomed to join. They named it the ‘Not Alone Club’ and even created a fun club handshake. More than 100 students signed up and pledged to join and engage in conversation with another student they saw eating alone.

Lunchtime at Johns Creek is very different now for Jonny and other kids who normally sat alone in the school cafeteria. Now, every seat at Jonny’s lunch table is filled. Loud chatter and laughter can be heard erupting from the cheerful group of new friends. 

"My heart feels happy," Jonny said. 

"I've sat alone before at lunch and it doesn't feel good, and I don't want anyone else to feel like that," shared club president, Claire Lazzeri. 

"It's inspiring for the kids to come together and do this. It's awesome," Lakira enthusiastically said. 

Lakira said she hopes that forming the group together is an example to Jonny that people can do anything they put their minds to, especially if they do it together.

Jonny’s mother said that Lakira is special in her heart for the kindness she has shown her son. Lakira even researched autism to learn how she could support her new friend. Lakira shared that Jonny’s friendship is just as special to her as it is to him.

PassItOn and The Foundation For A Better Life believe that Lakira is a true hero. Her action is a wonderful example of the value of kindness. She took the time to meet, get to know and learn about a child who appeared to need a friend. Her compassionate act started a chain reaction of kindness in her school and others. Please help us celebrate Lakira by sharing her heartwarming story. 

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Your Comments
Maureen from Oregon SEPTEMBER 3, 2022
This is such a heartwarming story. Lakira, we need more people like you who find a way to help others.

Lynise from Hilo, Hawai'i  SEPTEMBER 2, 2022
Thank you Lakira for sharing who you are and blessing Jonny with your positive seeds. God bless you all and Make Gratitude YOUR Attitude. Aloha, Lynise

BrusMom from Memphis Tennessee  SEPTEMBER 1, 2022
Beautiful and powerful

Linda Winings SEPTEMBER 1, 2022
Lakira is great!! Thank you, Lakira! I hope many others will follow this example.

Kathie from NY SEPTEMBER 1, 2022
Awesome thanks!

Lynise Tarring from Hilo, Hawai'i  DECEMBER 8, 2021
I give to you Lakira, my heart and sincerity for listening to your heart. You are a ray of sunshine and God Bless you all for working together as a team. Make gratitude your attitude. :)

Sam from New Albany, IN DECEMBER 7, 2021
Amazing and inspiring

Gail from Georgia DECEMBER 7, 2021
Very sweet and special story

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