Meet Michael Heinshaw & Katie Waters
Michael and Katie represent excellence in the high school Friendship program. They attend Oliver Ames High School in North Easton, Massachusetts, one of the strongest chapters, which has helped set the bar for buddy pair involvement in the region. Katie is the chapter president for her high school’s Best Buddies program. Katie and Michael’s friendship is new, but genuine, and they represent the commonality in Best Buddies Massachusetts programs – generous, dedicated young people who believe in inclusion and demonstrate its benefits to the larger community through their friendship.
Best Buddies has given both Michael and Katie something to look forward to every day. Katie believes the Best Buddies program is extremely positive, encouraging student involvement, and helps create and foster friendships. “I never experienced anything like this before. I feel like I am leaving a mark”, says Katie. “My buddy’s name is Michael. He is new this year, and we have hit it off. He is very kind, funny and loves to have a good time. We like to talk and hang out with other peer buddies. I am very excited to be matched with Michael and look forward to the next two years.”
Michael and Katie have been buddies for four months. “My life has gotten better. I have met lots of people and made friends. I have a lot of fun. I like to listen to music, and eat together with my buddy Katie. We were matched up this year,” says Michael. As for Katie, “My life has changed because I’ve learned so much from everyone and everything the club is about. I’ve made new friends and it is so special, because you are not only changing lives every day but people are impacting your life, too.”