Lincoln grants the ultimate gift to graduate with autism


"AJ's Snow Shack, come get a snow cone!"

LINCOLN, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — It was a ‘sweet treat’ watching AJ Valdez walk across the Lincoln stage to graduate on Thursday, May 20.

Congrats to all the 2020-2021 graduates!

Especially to see his dreams to run his very own snow cone stand — come true.

“I’m so excited,” Valdez said. “Very excited!”

AJ’s favorite snow cone flavor is watermelon!

At the age of three AJ was diagnosed with autism, but despite uncertainties about certain areas of his future — teachers, classmates, and the high school principal say his diagnosis is a gift all of them are honored to have been apart of.

I still don’t think it’s given him back anything like what he gives us because that’s how that dude is every day. In the middle of everything we went through, that’s how he represented himself, so it was honor to try and give anything back like what he does for us.


AJ, the kid with the biggest heart, will forever leave his mark on the small town of Lincoln.

It was a 'sweet treat' watching AJ Valdez walk across the Lincoln stage to graduate on Thursday, May 20.

“These are the stories that really matter,” Lincoln High School Principal Stan Karber said. “That kid right there, changes people’s lives every day, promise you.” 

Karber said the district received a charitable contribution from Cox Communications, who provided them with the trailer that was converted into the actual snow cone stand.

“We have received an extremely charitable contribution from Cox Communications,” Karber said.

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