High school graduation will be bittersweet for one Illinois student with Down syndrome who’s had the same one-to-one for 12 years.

Julie Halfen, 19, and her one-to-one Linda Hammer began working together when Halfen was in first grade. The two clicked early on and are so close now that they finish each other’s sentences.

It’s unusual for a pair to stay together so long. In many cases parents and school staff prefer to assign new one-to-one’s at least every couple of years to prevent a student from becoming too dependent on one person.

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But in Halfen’s case, the long-term pairing has been successful. The teen used to get upset if Hammer missed a day of school, but she’s learned to be more independent and in her senior year went to many classes alone.

Following her high school graduation on Sunday, Halfen plans to go to a transition program where she’ll learn life and job skills. But she won’t completely abandon the one-to-one she affectionately calls her twin. The two already have plans to see each other this summer, reports the Chicago Tribune. To read more click here.