Best Buddies Texas Goes to Leadership Conference!
Who’s IN? We’re IN! That is what it was all about during the 2015 Best Buddies International Leadership Conference. Over 2,000 Best Buddies participants, volunteers and staff members gathered at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana to celebrate the mission of Best Buddies.
This year the participants were ‘In to Empower’, ‘In to Engage’, ‘In to Impact’ and ‘In to Lead’. The ‘I’m In’ theme for the conference stemmed from the with ‘I’m In to Hire’ initiative that began early this year. ‘I’m In to Hire’ is purposed to promote the business benefits of hiring people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and motivate employers to create a more inclusive workplace.
Our Texas students were engaged in many workshops over the weekend that gave them the opportunity to collaborate with other chapter leaders from their city, state and across the country to learn valuable information to utilize with their chapter.
Our high school and college participants learned about leadership skills, fundraising, gaining and maintaining chapter participation and other essential tools for successfully running a Best Buddies chapter. College students also had the opportunity to join in a “World Café” session in which chapter leaders from around the world joined in discussions on a variety of topics.
While our chapter leaders participated in various workshops, six of our Texas buddy ambassadors attended the conference and were ‘In to Advocate’ by partaking in the Ambassador Speech Writing sessions. Our ambassadors were given the chance to present their speeches to all of the Texas participants during the statewide meeting before the closing ceremonies on Sunday evening. After witnessing the enthusiasm and excitement that our students displayed, one thing is for sure, this year’s leaders and ambassadors are definitely ALL IN!
Best Buddies Texas raked in the Friendship Walk Pacesetter awards with six pacesetter high schools and the Houston Friendship Walk being named as a National Pacesetter. Congratulations to Kingwood Park High School, Kempner High School, Mayde Creek High School, Seven Lakes High School, The Woodlands HS and Westside High School.
There are several sponsors that we would like to thank for their generous donation and continued support of our mission: Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Admiral Transfer and Rigging, Houston Dynamo, University of Houston Alumni Association, Sugar Land Skeeters, KIND, FC Dallas, Texas Rangers and Talbot’s-Galleria.