Breakout Room BFFs

After becoming friends in their Launch class, fourth grade students Bristol Michael and Josi Walker have talked every day—and they’ve even met multiple times in person. Learn what the two have to say about life, Launch and maintaining a friendship while living 100 miles apart.
By Savannah Waszczuk

Access Launch: How did you Learn about Launch?
Bristol Michael: Me and my mom were trying to decide if I wanted to go back to seated school after COVID or if I wanted to do virtual… My mom heard about Launch and did some research, and I decided I wanted to try it.
Josi Walker: My home school district set me up with it. I started Launch because of COVID, and then decided to stay online full time instead of going back to traditional school.

Access: What was it like to go from learning in a school building to learning online?
JW: At first it was challenging to get used to being home all day, but after a few weeks I got the hang of it, and it became normal for me. Once I got used to it, I really liked it.
BM: It wasn’t too hard for me. I liked that I got to be home in my bedroom with a blanket while I was doing my work. And I also really liked my teachers—everyone was so nice!

Access: How did you start talking with each other?
BM: It was spirit week, and Josi and I both dressed up as 80s girls for one of the dress up days.
JW: Bristol was like, ‘Oh my goodness, she’s dressed for the 80s, too!’
BM: Ever since then, we’ve been chatting every single day.

Access: What was it like to meet in person the first time?
JW: We met at the park in my neighborhood.
BM: At first we were both really nervous and excited at the same time, because we had never met each other in person!
JW: She went to Panda Express before we met, and she got a little Panda to give me.
BM: We played for about an hour and a half, and when we had to go we were both really sad!
JW: The second time we met up, I made matching bracelets for us.

Access: How do you stay in touch when you’re not hanging out?
BM: We play games online, and we play games and talk through approved apps.
JW: We can FaceTime and text each other.
BM: We like to play a game called Roblox together.

Access: How would you describe one another?
BM: She’s funny, she’s smart, she’s kind, she’s pretty, and she’s really athletic!
JW: Smart. Beautiful. Amazing. My BFF!

Access: What are your hobbies?
BM: I like to play basketball and softball. I also do gymnastics and cheer, and I like to play with my dogs—they’re very fun! I like to play outside. I have a friend who lives in my neighborhood, and I play with her a lot. I also like playing with my family. We’ll play board games and card games when it’s rainy outside, or we’ll watch movies together.
JW: Playing with Bristol is a big one, and playing with all of my other friends. I also love playing with my cats and hanging out with my family—we love to play games and watch shows. We really like to watch TikToks!

Access: Do you have any pets?
BM: I have two dogs. One is a Havapoo named Benny. He’s very tiny, but he’s super feisty and athletic, too! Then I have a big dog, a Great Dane, named Truman. When he was a puppy he was pretty athletic, but now he’s pretty lazy. He doesn’t really want to do stuff anymore, except for sleep and eat.
JW: I have four cats. Two of them are tuxedo cats—an old man named Jazz and a kitten named Ace. Then I have Plato. Mrs. Schmitt said he looks like he has a toupee on his head, and now that’s all I see! And my last cat is Titan.

Access: What’s your favorite book series?
BM: Clementine by Sara Pennypacker. I like how funny she is!
JW: My favorite book series is Diary of a Pug by Kyla May.

Access: What’s your dream job?
BM: I want to be a cosmetologist or a gamer.
JW: I want to be a veterinarian because I love animals.
BM: And I also want to work alongside Josi. I want to be her assistant!

Access: What’s your favorite thing about learning with Launch?
BM: Well, I love my teachers and I love my classmates. I’ve made a lot of friends! I also love typing, and we get to do that a lot—most of our assignments we have to type, and I love that!
JW: I like being home with my family, and of course I like being able to finish earlier than I would have to if I went to school in person sometimes. Also, my teachers were so nice!