Best Buddies Club: Best Way to Make New Friends

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Alexis Farmer

Best Buddies Club

Alexis Farmer, Journalist

In Shadow Ridge, there is a club available to join called the Best Buddies Club. The purpose of the club is to make friends with people that have disabilities. The club is great for people who want to make friends and feel they have a place they belong. It offers its members the ability to be heard and to experience what it’s like to have a best friend. 

The Best Buddies Club is available for anyone to join. Due to the unfortunately common occurrence where those with disabilities are targeted for bullying, the club offers a safe environment for all and a support system of allies. The club offers opportunities of friendship and leadership. 

Best Buddies Club President, Cameryn Williams, says, “The club allowed me to become a better leader, more patient and understand the world around me in a better way.” 

“I was the advisor for Best buddies for a year and a half. I continue the club to give special needs students more chances to socialize with regular education students. We do a lot of fun stuff like art and team activities and we make a lot of memories.””

— Mary Jane, Club Advisor

The club also raises awareness to its members for people that have down-syndrome, autism,  traumatic brain injuries, developmental disabilities, and others. People who have these disabilities get to socialize with people who have both similar and different experiences with disability. This ability to relate with others and develop empathy creates opportunities for one-on-one friendships and integrated enjoyment.

Membership within Best Buddies Club can also help improve social skills. People with mental disabilities sometimes struggle with confidence and social situations. The club helps and fosters socializing in a judge-free zone. Club members feel valued by their community. 

Reflecting on learning experiences found in the club, senior Auriona Dyson states, “I want to pursue an education in occupational therapy so this is a good opportunity. It’s a nice opportunity for those with or without intellectual developmental disabilities.”

The Best Buddies Club is a great opportunity for all students to improve social skills as well. All students, regardless of a presence of disability, can socialize and help out any student who struggles with socializing and talking to other people. The club can help people understand more about disabilities, help out their peers, and makes all feel included in a community of care.