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“He was probably thinking, 'I'm stuck here with this old guy,'” says Newton-native Rick Setzer. “I'd leave the school and think it wasn't getting anywhere. Then slowly, after several months, I could see little cracks. He'd talk a little bit. It became 20 questions. Then, somewhere about halfway through the year it became a discussion.”
This is Setzer's third year volunteering with the Lunch Buddy Program through Catawba County's Council on Adolescents. His lunch buddy was in the seventh grade when Setzer started volunteering. Although the program exclusively serves all five public middle schools in the Catawba County system, Setzer will travel to the high school this year to continue meeting with his lunch buddy. He will be the only volunteer to do so.
To read more of this story, pick up the Tuesday edition of Catawba County's community newspaper, The Observer News Enterprise, at newsstands throughout the county.