Best Buddies Month: Riviera Preparatory School (Promoters Chapter)
In celebration of #BestBuddiesMonth we will be showcasing outstanding volunteers, employees, and supporters. This post comes from the Riviera Preparatory School’s (RSP) Best Buddies Promoters Chapter leadership team in Miami, FL.
RPS Leadership Team
Felipe Deupi: President | Victoria Smith: Vice President | Alexis Johnston: Secretary | Darian Pace: Treasurer | Tatiana Fernandez: Historian | Emily Roque: Assistant Historian
How many years has there been a Promoters program at your school?
Best Buddies has been a part of Riviera Preparatory School since 2013.
How did you learn about Best Buddies?
The previous Best Buddies president Francesca Rizzi shared the message and mission of Best Buddies to all of the student body during our school’s annual community service fair. The club was introduced by our art teacher, Janis Klein-Young.
What does Best Buddies mean to you?
Best Buddies means more than just a club. It is a message to get involved and impact the lives of others through friendship, leadership, and community. It means reaching out to people that only want to benefit the world.
What is your favorite thing to do as a chapter?
Our favorite thing to do as a chapter are the actual service events because participating in these service events is what really brings our chapter together. The turkey donation to Neva King Cooper is our biggest event, and now this year for our first time we will sell socks to promote Autism Speaks in our school.
How does your chapter engage with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD)?
We have donated turkeys and various other beneficial foods to the Neva King Cooper School for special education which engages students with autism and Downs Syndrome to learn at their greatest potential. We will also be selling socks for Autism Awareness Month backed by the organization “Are You Kidding” which benefits those with autism, a common developmental disability.
What event or activity are you most proud of?
This year was our second annual turkey drive to financially challenged families of the Neva King Cooper School for those with special needs. This event has proved to be successful and it is our first major event for each school year. It’s great to personally donate the Thanksgiving meals to the families and see their appreciation!
How do you feel your chapter has made an impact in your school/community?
In our school, we have made an impact on students by creating an awareness of accepting people for who they are. Being a part of Best Buddies teaches people to be less judgmental of others which is a valuable lesson to everyone. Also, our service events create a humbling experience for students. These service events also impact the community because we help several people such as the students at Neva King Cooper, and students at the Children’s Resource Center.
How has Best Buddies changed your life?
After making a best friend that has a disability, interviewing the founder of Best Buddies, gaining new insight about the organization, meeting wonderful and extraordinary people of all ages, and learning the impact that Best Buddies has made on others, my passion for Best Buddies has grown immensely along with my character and perspective and Best Buddies has been a substantial part of my community service.
Why do you think others should join Best Buddies?
I believe it gives people a great opportunity to help others, and to meet others who also enjoy giving their time to others. Being a member of Best Buddies leads to more compassionate and appreciative people. If we don’t respect one another, the world wouldn’t be able to function efficiently. Therefore, learning to accept people as they are is an important quality that everyone can benefit from.