Skip navigation

Calls to Action

Secret Identity Helps Teen with Autism Connect with Fellow Students

June 13, 2014

Students at Grand Blanc West Middle School in Michigan love their bobcat mascot but no one actually knows who the person behind the mask is. It’s 13-year-old Andrese Duke who happens to have autism. Andrese has been donning the costume for 5 months now and he really enjoys making people smile and cheer.  

It all started when Andrese saw the costume in a closet, he was immediately drawn to it and the school gave him a chance to try it out. His mom says he takes the job of being a mascot seriously and gets excited every time he puts on the bobcat costume. Andrese’s special education teacher says that as a result he is making friends and feeling more comfortable socially. Watch the MLive video above to see Andrese in action.