Most days, Bo Paske sits alone at lunch. As anyone who’s been to middle school knows, a cafeteria full of pre-teens can be a torture chamber of adolescent awkwardness and humiliation if you’re just a little bit different.
Earlier this week, however, Travis Rudolph, a junior with the Florida State Seminoles, made sure that for at least one day Bo, who has autism, didn’t have to sit alone. Rudolph and a few other FSU players were at Montford Middle School in Tallahassee on Tuesday, and the wide receiver decided to pull up a chair and eat lunch with the student.
A friend of the family’s sent a photo of the moment to Bo’s mother, who was moved to tears by Rudolph’s kind gesture. Paske shared her gratitude on Facebook post later that day, and the post currently boasts more than 8,000 shares.
“I'm not sure what exactly made this incredibly kind man share a lunch table with my son, but I'm happy to say that it will not soon be forgotten,” she wrote. “This is one day I didn't have to worry if my sweet boy ate lunch alone, because he sat across from someone who is a hero in many eyes.”
For Rudolph—who frequently helps out in the community with FSU—the decision to sit with Bo was natural.
“I didn’t even know he had Autism,” Rudolph told FSU Athletics, adding that Paske’s post almost brought him to tears. “I feel like he is a great person, and I would love to hang out with him anytime.”
“I feel like one person can make a difference, and maybe, I’m that difference,” he added. “So, I feel like why not go help out.”
[via Fox Sports]