Our son, Jack Mayor, was fortunate to be selected to attend the 2017 Best Buddies Leadership Conference (BBLC) for the Ambassador track and even more blessed to be chosen to speak at Closing Ceremonies. I am writing this note in hopes that Anthony Shriver will somehow see it and read it. He needs to know the impact Best Buddies has had on our son’s life and our family.
For the past nine years, three days a week, Bradley Gunther leaves his home in Marina del Rey and takes the bus to Beverly Hills, where he is the most veteran employee in the mailroom at Paradigm. “I deliver mail and supplies for both buildings, and it’s a very important job to me,” says Gunther, 62. “I enjoy my life.”
In 2016 Best Buddies, in order to expand its services and mission, launched Best Buddies Alumni Association (BBAA) program to re-engage with former participants. The BBAA mission is focused on developing lifelong mutually beneficial relationships between Best Buddies and its alumni. A place where former volunteers can remain connected and engaged with Best Buddies for life.
Octavia Frost sat patiently through make-up and hair styling, as her Best Buddies’ student volunteer, Zyandria Vega, created just the right look for a special occasion – the Spring Fling Buddy Ball. She wore a dark blue gown of her choosing for the annual prom at Wesley Chapel High School. And, when she walked into the school’s gymnasium
One ambitious Best Buddies participant is Zach Smith, who has always dreamed of working in a NYC television studio. He is currently a communications major at Worcester State University in preparation for a career in the broadcast media industry.
This year, Best Buddies Spain will be launching an initiative in Madrid called the Human Libraries (Bibliotecas Humanas), a project that aims to eliminate prejudice against people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) through dialogue and communication. In this project, Best Buddies participants will act as “books” that tell their individual stories to anyone willing to listen. Human Libraries will be showcased through a series of events including musical performances, photographic exhibitions, and theatrical performances.
North Rockland High School Best Buddies Promoters Club is proud to present the #RWordStomp2017. Respectful and inclusive language is essential to the movement for the dignity and humanity of people with intellectual disabilities. However, much of society does not recognize the hurtful, dehumanizing and exclusive effects of the R-word.
Best Buddies Month is a time for Best Buddies participants to reflect on the importance of friendship, jobs, and the development of future leaders. Most importantly, it is a time to show the world the significance of these essentials in every individual’s life. What began in 1993 as a one-day event has become a month-long celebration of the Best Buddies mission. 2017 marks our 28th Anniversary, and we want you to celebrate the impact our friendship, jobs, and leadership development programs have had on your life.
Friendships like Madison’s and Angelica’s demonstrate the power of our Friendship program. They have been best buddies for over two years and love to go to the movies together, shop, travel, and compete in beauty pageants. Angelica is the current National Miss Amazing — a pageant that celebrates and empowers girls and women with disabilities. Madison and Angelica are also fierce advocates of the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign to end the hurtful use of the R-word.
Michael Taylor’s journey is an inspiration to all who know him. He went from being isolated and deprived of his freedom after spending 30 years wrongly institutionalized at the age of 13, to living on his own, and being the longest tenured employee at Best Buddies Maryland.