East Lyme High School Buddy Director Wins Homecoming King
The hype that surrounds a high school pep rally is contagious. This year, however, the energy was a bit different at East Lyme High School.
This year they made history.
Best Buddies has been active in Connecticut since 1990, with East Lyme High School opening their doors to a chapter in the fall of 2015. They have worked tirelessly over the past ten year to include the mission of Best Buddies International in their local community, compromising a chapter of over 40 students, with and without disabilities. James O’Toole joined in 2012, and has been paired with his peer buddy Katie Blackwood for the past 3 years. Just this year he was elected Buddy Director, a position that allows him to sit on the officer crew and make decisions about the events and meetings their chapter runs, and report all news back to the chapter and his peers.
But something else spectacular happened to James this year. Katie is quoted saying:
On October 23rd, the student body voted James O’Toole Homecoming King. During the homecoming pep rally, James rushed into the gym. He was greeted by enthusiasm and an overwhelming roar from the entire school. The culmination of ten years of hard work by Best Buddies has led to this big moment of inclusion for our high school and community.
Moments like these are proof that the mission of Best Buddies is real, and that the work our volunteers do on a daily basis within each of their chapters is making strides in social inclusion for all those disabilities.