|ABOUT BEST BUDDIES
BEST BUDDIES HIGH SCHOOL
MEETINGS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
ABOUT BEST BUDDIES
Best Buddies is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by providing opportunities for one-to-one friendships and integrated employment.
Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant, international organization that has grown from one original chapter to more than 1,000 middle school, high school, and college campuses across the country and internationally. Our programs today reach to all 50 of the United States, and now include Canada, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, Ireland, Mexico, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia and Sweden, with programs developing in Austria, Brazil, Guatemala, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom. For the first time, we are actually serving 50,000 volunteers in one year. We also have big plans for the future. Specifically, by 2010, Best Buddies will continue to build on our program base in all 50 states, establish programs in 50 countries and have 500,000 participants worldwide.
In addition to the traditional campus-based volunteer activities, and for those with limited personal time, Best Buddies helps people with intellectual disabilities connect with others through technology with its online friendship program, e-Buddies.
Even though Best Buddies has grown tremendously in its short existence, most of the country still lacks programs to help people with intellectual disabilities become a part of mainstream society. Our goal is to bring Best Buddies to every corner of the United States and every corner of the world, making Best Buddies programs active in every community and on every middle school, high school, and college campus.
Specifically, by 2010, Best Buddies will:
Paired with the 14 million college students in the U.S. and the 77 million college students worldwide, we can make a huge difference in the lives of the 7.5 million people in the US and 250 million people worldwide who have intellectual disabilities. Best Buddies volunteers annually contribute services that estimate a value of $52 million - at no cost to the community.
Best Buddies High School
Best Buddies High Schools pairs people with intellectual disabilities in one-to-one friendships with high school students. Without friends and family, we are alone. In the past, individuals with intellectual disabilities have not had the opportunity to have friends outside of their own special education classroom. By becoming a High School Peer Buddy, volunteers offer a Buddy the chance to explore a new way of life and feel included in the high school environment.
By introducing Best Buddies into public and private high schools, we are crossing the invisible line that too often separates those with disabilities from those without.
The mission of Best Buddies High Schools is to provide an opportunity for high school students to be matched in a one-to-one friendship with individuals who have intellectual disabilities. Social experiences and relationships are a part of life; unfortunately, individuals with intellectual disabilities have historically been excluded from many of the social opportunities that most people enjoy. By becoming a high school peer buddy, you will not only befriend someone with an intellectual disability, but you will also learn about yourself in the process.
High School chapters are active in 421 schools worldwide. Each chapter is a registered student organization within their school and is led by a chapter president.
The Chapter President is a student that is matched in a friendship and is willing to organize, lead and maintain a chartered chapter of Best Buddies for the duration of one academic year.
High school students interested in becoming involved in Best Buddies
must commit to the following:
MEETINGS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The organizational Meeting provides the Chapter President with the opportunity to inform, excite, and recruit potential high school student volunteers to become the very heart and soul of the chapter. Held during the first month of school, students who want to be a part of a Best Buddies chapter must attend the Organizational Meeting (Org. Meeting). The Org. Meeting will set the tone for the rest of the year.