Meet Ellen Schleyer
Ellen is a wonderful advocate and strong leader for those with IDD. Through Best Buddies, Ellen became an ambassador and learned how to be a self-advocate and speak up for the IDD community at conferences, trainings and the Best Buddies New York Carnegie Hall event. Ellen’s ability to communicate the significance of the program is one of her greatest skills and she has inspired many to support Best Buddies New York.
“My life has changed since I joined the Best Buddies program at Seaford High School. Before Best Buddies, I was alone at school a lot. I had no one to talk to at lunch. I knew some people, but I did not have real friends. My dad and my teacher led me to join Best Buddies when I was in my first year of high school in 2009. Then, my buddy Jackie encouraged me to become a buddy director and leader in the club. This experience has been the best thing to ever happen to me because it has allowed me to show what I am capable of doing. I feel like other students who are in my class are now more involved and outgoing. There is so much love in Best Buddies!
“One of my proudest moments since joining Best Buddies is when I gave a speech at Leadership Conference in Bloomington, Indiana. As a Young Leadership Council (YLC) member, I gave a presentation on the importance of social inclusion in front of many students from different schools and states. I have also spoken at several Best Buddies events in New York. I had the opportunity to speak at Carnegie Hall, in addition to many other events. This has made me a stronger advocate and leader. I am so happy to be a part of something so special and life-changing. I have learned to be a buddy and a friend. I don’t know what I would do without Best Buddies!”