Meet Hannah Matti
Hannah, chapter president for Cedarburg High School, and her buddy, Jenni, are a fantastic example of leadership. Everyone deserves friendship and to be respected no matter what their abilities are. Best Buddies has been a huge part of their lives. As Hannah shared, “I have met so many amazing people through it and am very grateful for it. Ive really learned how powerful our actions and words can be, no matter if theyre negative or positive. This is a life lesson that I will keep with me forever.”
Jenni and Hannah have a great friendship, seeing each other at least five times a day at school and stopping every time to say hi and share a little something about their day.
Thanks to their leadership, in 2014 the Cedarburg High School chapter grew in size and planned lots of great activities for members to participate in including a craft day, a Concordia University basketball game outing, and walking in the homecoming parade.
Janine, a chapter member, commented that, “Best Buddies has had a great impact on our school as a whole. This year especially, our school has taken major steps toward acceptance and inclusion. Our buddies are treated the way they should be: as equals. They talk to their friends and high-five them in the halls just like everyone else and people respect them for their talents, strengths and amazing personalities. After our schools first-ever Spread the Word to End the Word day, the [r-word] is heard around school much less, and more frequently we hear people being reprimanded for using it. I am incredibly proud of the effect Best Buddies has had on me as a person and on our school, and I hope it continues to grow and influence our entire community.”
Over the years, this buddy pair has modeled inclusion to the rest of the student body, becoming true ambassadors promoting friendship over differences, reducing instances of bullying, and simply making our school a more welcoming and positive place for all students.