Best Buddies

Elarya Tadres, Staff Reporter

Best Buddies is an organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

Best Buddies helps from meaningful friendships with their peers, secure successful jobs, live independently, improve public speaking, communication skills, and feeling valued by society.

Best Buddies is a club because it allows for all individuals, whether they are disabled or not, to be included in a variety of different activities and events.

“I believe the main purpose of this club is inclusion,” Helena Beltran (‘19) said. “Every day people are excluded from things, and feel a lack of self-worth.”

This kind of issue needs advocacy and Best Buddies allows for the population to be better informed of these issues. This allows for more individuals to feel welcomed.

The members in the club volunteer at Carwise Middle. Activities that happen in Best Buddies include making cards to send to the buddies at Carwise Middle. On special occasions like Halloween, the members plan a Halloween dance.

During the last general meeting, members of the club contributed by donating holiday-themed candy, stickers, pencils and also create goodie bags for the buddies that will be passed out to them during the December Holiday Party, along with a raffle for a chance to win a teddy bear.

Ms.Christa Simons is the supervisor of the best buddies. The board members are:

  • Tatiana Romero (‘19) and Helena Beltran (‘19) (Co-President)
  • Ally Nepomuceno (‘19) (Vice President)
  • Camille Pamplona (‘19) (Treasurer)
  • Alex Barstow (‘19) (Secretary)
  • Justina John (‘21) (Historian)

“When I participate and make other people happy through my participation in this club, I feel like I am a part of something bigger than myself. I feel like I am a part of a movement that positively impacts the progress of our changing society. I feel like my efforts facilitate in the push to socially accept all people no matter their disabilities or abilities which is a beautiful thing,” Nepomuceno said.

Trying new things might change a person’s life, even if it’s just joining a club or helping others fit in.