Andrese Duke dresses as Grand Blanc West Middle School mascot Victor E. Bobcat to interact with students and staff members in a way that lets him feel comfortable.
The seventh-grader has been donning the suit for about five months and it has seemed to help him in a number of areas at school.
"This has impacted his confidence and increased his social ability in the classroom with students," special education teacher Raymond Haden told MLive.
The 13-year-old hasn't looked back since he was given the chance to put on the suit because the eighth-grader who used to have the job was absent. "He was overjoyed to say the least," Haden said.
Duke's mother is delighted with the way her son has handled the responsibility of manning the mascot costume.
"It gave him a purpose. He's always loved school, but it gave him somewhat of a purpose and responsibility. He took it so serious, like it was his job," said Adrian Duke. "This is really something big. He's such a special little boy."
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UPI Almanac for Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014