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Custodian, high schooler with autism form club to keep people from eating lunch alone

After a custodian sat with a 10th grader with autism at a Texas high school, the pair is now teaming up to make sure no student has to eat lunch alone.

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Two friends are on a mission to make sure no one sits alone at the lunch table in school at Johns Creek High

Jonny Hickey and Lakira Issac inspired thousands of people this summer, when the 10th grader, who has autism, and the school custodian shared their friendship on 11Alive. 

"My heart feels happy," Jonny said.  

There's a lot of laughs at Jonny's lunch table now and every seat is filled. Lunch looks a lot different this year than it did last year when Jonny was alone. He has autism and social interactions can be hard, so he sat by himself. 

That's until the school custodian started sitting down with him. Lakira made a point to be Jonny's friend and make sure he was not alone. 

After Jonny's mother saw how much that meant to her son, she thought they might be on to something. 

"That should be awesome to inspire more people to sit at the table, eat their lunch, never let a peer eat alone," Lakira said. 

Jonny and Lakira started the "Not Alone Club" at Johns Creek High School. They got more than 100 kids to sign up and pledge to step in if they saw someone eating by themselves. 

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

Claire is the club's president and says she hopes this is an idea that spreads. 

"Whether it's a high school down the road, or this high school, we want to build friendships," she said. 

The club is already working at Johns Creek High, where Jonny has taught dozens of kids his "not alone handshake." The pair hopes this is just the beginning. 

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

Lakira is the first custodian to help found a club at the high school and she says she hopes it shows Jonny people can do anything they put their mind to — especially if they do it together. 

    

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