Be a Buddy, Join Best Buddies!

Wakefield%27s+Best+Buddies+on+the+DC+Friendship+Walk.

Photo found @BestBuddiesWHS1

Wakefield’s Best Buddies on the DC Friendship Walk.

Founder Anthony Kennedy Shiver said, “The students shouldn’t be driven by anything else but the desire to help someone else” according to bestbuddies.org.

Best Buddies it a non-profit organization that started January 19, 1989. Best Buddies was originally founded at Georgetown University. In 1995, Best Buddies High Schools was established with the purpose of pairing special education students in one-to-one friendships with high school volunteers.“Non-disabled students don’t acknowledge students with disabilities, and its great to get them involved” said junior Kate Williams on what Best Buddies does for Wakefield students.

Ms. Sheridan (in C-214) is the one to talk to if you are interested in joining the Wakefield branch of Best Buddies. She said, “something many people don’t know is that it’s for anyone!” She told us that Best Buddies is about including the IDD students with the whole school’s population. Ms. Sheridan also said these students “have been segregated, the goal is to end the segregation.”

“Having a sister with [Downs Syndrome], I was excited to see that there was a club for…her” said senior Liz Tiernan about her sister Anna Tiernan and how Best Buddies has had a positive impact on their lives.

In 2009, Best Buddies Friendship Walks were established. The Friendship Walk is one of the most popular walks in the country. The purpose of the walk is to raise awareness and funds to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs). By 2010, Best Buddies programs had been started in 50 countries around the world.

When asked about what she likes most about Best Buddies, junior Emely Manzancres said, “hanging out with my buddy and going to the prom at the end of year.” Williams mirrored what Ms. Sheridan said, “we would love for people to get involved, [it] isn’t exclusive; it’s for everyone.”

If you want to get involved, come to the Friendship Appreciation Meeting after school on Thursday, February 23rd for pizza and fun in C-214!