Thursday, May 26, 2011
High School Student's Inner Circle
BRENTWOOD, Calif. -- Equipped with an ample supply of M&Ms in pastel shades and polka-dot ribbon, Emily Simino and a couple of friends are turning miniature glass jars into party favors for a mutual companion's birthday.
The Brentwood 15-year-old maintains a running conversation with Brandon Gruber, who snips off strands of ribbon and affixes them along the edge of the lids at her direction.
"Cut it right there," Emily says. "Perfect. Do you have a little glue?"
Gruber carefully applies a few drops.
"Yeah, you really are good with a glue gun," Emily says.
That both Brandon, 15, and fellow favor maker 23-year-old Brittany Cassen have Down syndrome makes no difference to the Heritage High School sophomore, who counts them among her closest friends in a social network that includes dozens with similar disabilities.