High school homecoming king gives crown to his Best Buddy

Homecoming season is officially upon us. And while the news is sometimes saturated with tales of bullying, it’s nice to know there are still some kids who have hearts of gold. When Josh Donahoe, a high school senior at a Brandon Valley, South Dakota high school, was recently named homecoming king, he did something unpredictable and totally selfless. When they announced his name to give him his crown, instead of accepting the honor for himself, Donahoe requested that the crown be given to his friend, Carson Rowbatham.

Rowbatham has special needs, and he and Donahoe had struck up a friendship thanks to the school’s Best Buddies program, which encourages students to invite other special needs students to games, movies and after school programs to ensure an inclusive student body. Check out this touching video of the generous teen handing over his crown to his friend:


Donahoe is not the only the only student who was pulling for Rowbatham to hold the title of homecoming king. The night before the students were set to vote on the coveted honor, Donahoe says he texted about 150 kids in his class to put Carson on their ballots, and most of them told him they already planned to nominate the teen.

“I wasn’t surprised that Josh gave it up but I think everybody on the court was surprised that Carson didn’t get it,” Homecoming queen Hannah Hendrick told KSFY. “We were all rooting for him, but I think any of the candidates would have given it to him.”

For his part, Donahoe felt that his decision to turn over the crown to his friend was only natural, given Rowbatham’s valued presence at Brandon Valley High School. “He’s a huge positive influence on my life and that’s a big part of the reason why I chose to have him up there because he’s such a big positive influence on me and everyone at Brandon Valley,” he said.