Meet Anna Tramposch & Kelvin Cifuentes
The friendship between Kelvin and Anna is so genuine. You rarely find one without the other. They really push each other to be better, and support one another. In VA/DC, our students participate in the Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Washington, DC. For months prior to the race, Anna helped Kelvin train for the 5k. Anna is an outstanding runner, and Kelvin really wanted to run the 5k with her. They trained together almost every day after school. It was so beautiful to see them cross the finish line together, and see them grow closer throughout this year. These two students have been our go to stars this year. They are both strong leaders within Best Buddies Capital Region and serve as a huge example to the rest of our buddy pairs. Anna and Kelvin spoke about their friendship this year at the Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Washington, DC as well as at Best Buddies Life is Sweet.
“Before joining Best Buddies, I had a good group of friends, but it was not a diverse group. Upon entering high school, my friends consisted of the same girls I went to elementary and middle school with. After joining Best Buddies, I met a lot of people at Yorktown, but also from all over Northern Virginia. It was like the equivalent of joining a sorority or fraternity in college; you automatically have something in common with a big group of like-minded people and you can bond and build friendships over that! You have a network of people that support you and are there for you, and that is the effect Best Buddies had on me. I participated in the Best Buddies high school program all four years and I am now a Best Buddies Colleges participant! I also had an e-Buddy for a little over a year.
“Kelvin and I were matched my senior year in high school and were quite the Power Duo. We made a joint speech at the 2013 Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Washington, DC and led the Best Buddies Yorktown Chapter together during our senior year. We also ran the Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Washington, DC together! I helped Kelvin train for the 5k and we rocked it. Friendships with my buddies over the course of high school have taught me about patience and inclusion. I joined to have fun and make new friends but hearing from my buddies’ parents about the impact I have made in their lives has shown me it’s about so much more. Everyone has something to offer and it’s much more fun to celebrate that than notice people’s disabilities. Even though I am at college now, there are no limits to our friendship. While Best Buddies friendships are technically arranged, if the program were to suddenly disappear tomorrow, nothing about our friendship would change. We would still be just as close as we are now. We were a big part of each other’s last year at Yorktown and an unforgettable part of each other’s lives. Best Buddies is about making lasting and honest friendships and we have done exactly that!”
As for Kelvin, “I didn’t have that many friends and I didn’t get to go out on the weekends with friends. I think I was also very shy before joining Best Buddies. Now I am more outgoing and have a great group of friends. My two past buddies Nicole and Anna have introduced me to a lot of new people and now I have lots of people to talk to and text. Something that I love about Best Buddies is that I have events to look forward to on the weekends now. I am in the Best Buddies High Schools program and have gotten to do some really cool things! I have given two big speeches – once at the 2013 Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Washington, D.C. and the other at the 2014 Life is Sweet Best Buddies Virginia event. My buddy Anna helped me write speeches for both of these events and we practiced a lot. I have also gone to two Best Buddies International Leadership Conferences with Anna! At the 2014 Leadership Conference, Anna and I did a photo shoot and our picture was even used for the Back to School Sale email. I love being in Best Buddies because I have made true friendships. For my birthday this past year, Anna threw me a surprise birthday party at her house. It made me feel so special and loved. More than 20 of my closest friends came to the party and helped me celebrate! That night showed me just how much Best Buddies has impacted my life!”