Family friends for over 10 years, Sara Davis and Connor Nolan started dating about a year and a half ago. When asked what they like to do together, the list was long and varied: “Miniature golfing, bowling, family videos, eating dinner, Wii, playing cards, Jenga, Lincoln logs, puzzles, playing basketball, singing Karaoke, swimming . . . ”

“We are on the same swim team,” says Sara. “So we also have swim meets together,” adds Connor.

What do you most appreciate about one another? Connor: “Sara makes me laugh. She makes me cute. She likes doing stuff with me like listening to music, doing Kidz Bop, singing, and playing basketball.” Sara appreciates Connor because, “He is special, hilarious, and funny. He is so funny he makes me cry. And he is kind. When I get out of the water at swim practice, he puts my towel around me.”

What qualities are most important to look for in a girlfriend or boyfriend? Connor: “Look for someone you want to marry.” Sara: “Someone who likes to help people. Connor likes to help.”

Their families have established a few ground rules. Bedrooms are off-limits. “We are allowed one hello kiss, and one good-bye kiss,” says Sara. “And we listen to our moms,” adds Connor.  

When Sara won Junior Teen Queen in the 2016 Miss Amazing Pageant, Connor was part of her talent competition. “We sang ‘Love Is an Open Door’ from Frozen,” says Sara.

Congrats to Connor Nolan, who will be a sophomore this fall at Downers Grove South High School, where he advanced from Concert Band to playing percussion in the Symphonic Band! He’ll also be performing with South’s Marching Mustangs in over seven marching band competitions, and at the halftime shows at football games.

To hear some of Connor's FAVORITE tunes by Green Day, White Stripes, Led Zeppelin, and the Beatles, don't miss the 2017 Chicagoland Buddy Walk on October 8th. Here’s more from Connor:

“I was in the Concert Band at school this year. I’ve played drums for 9 years. I’m also in a rock band with my twin brother, Sean. It’s called Chrome 47. That’s my favorite.”

What are some of your favorite songs or bands to play? “'Warning’ by Green Day, 'Seven Nation Army' by White Stripes, and the Beatles” 

“My favorite class in school is gym, because I like to play basketball. I play Special Olympics Hoops 99. We got a silver medal in March.

I also like Miss Caffrey’s classroom, learning about the states and geography, and working on projects with my friends.

What are your goals for the future?

“I want to play basketball. When I go to college, I want to study social studies and music.”

For more from Connor, don't miss our upcoming interview about dating with Connor and his girlfriend, Sara Davis, who says, “My hero is Connor. He makes good choices, and he helps my mother.”

Ariana Siannas spent Memorial Day Weekend camping and “Jeeping” with her family. “We got really wet with muddy water. It was like a volcano exploded. I like going Jeeping,” she says, although she adds quickly that home is her very favorite place to be. “I miss home when we go camping."

This seventh grader has a best friend who also happens to have Down syndrome. “We go swimming or horseback riding or play Barbies,” says Ariana, who adds with pride, “I taught Sara to play pool.”

Both girls have been part of the Miss Amazing pageant for several years, where Ariana got to showcase the ribbon routine she learned in Special Olympics gymnastics. “It was so funny. They played the wrong music, so we had to start again with new music.”

Happiest moments? “Gymnastics competitions. When we went to state and stayed in the hotel.”

What’s most important in life? “Our entire family. Going to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, and to see Ya-Ya and Papou.”

Future plans? "I’m going to be a doctor or a nurse. I’m going to go to college. I’m going to get married and have a dog." 


“Being a good friend is being nice, and caring about your friends. I’m really good at making friends, and I’m really good at bringing people together.

“My friends and I do FaceTime, Facebook, and Snapchat, and we go down state [for Special Olympics]. We also do Best Buddies [a non-profit program devoted to providing opportunities for friendship, employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities], where we play games and go places like the Brookfield Zoo.

“I’ve done the talent show at my school for three years. The first year, I played the piano. The second year, I played the guitar. Last year, I was one of Blues Brothers, and I sang 'Everybody Needs Somebody to Love.' This year, I have a big idea! It’s going to be a comedy. I’m going to do jokes and elaborate pranks.

"Last Friday, we played a prank on my teacher. She was sick, but she wasn’t at home, so we all wore gloves and health masks to her class.

“I was also part of the ensemble for Fiddler on the Roof at my school this year. I got to dance. I love the entire cast, and I also loved when all the seniors got together.

“I’m really good at everything I do. At home, I like to play guitar every day and play on my iPad. I also like dancing (doing the Nae Nae) and rapping. I want to be a D.J.”

What’s the accomplishment of which you are most proud? “My confirmation at my temple. And when I did my Bar Mitzvah, they asked me to lead the service in Hebrew. Then we had a big party afterward.”