Best Buddies in California Newsletter: March 2022 Mar 18, 2022 | California News | Best Buddies in California Newsletter Best Buddies Month is here! In March, we celebrate all of our amazing participants and supporters for their continuous efforts to make everyone feel included and important. We are proud to say that Best Buddies has positively impacted more than 1.3 million individuals with and without disabilities worldwide. Within California, our programs serve 47 elementary and middle schools, 122 high schools, 10 colleges, 46 Citizens pairs, and 217 Jobs participants. All of which wouldn’t be possible with you! March 2022 Best Buddies Month is here! In March, we celebrate all of our amazing participants and supporters for their continuous efforts to make everyone feel included and important. We are proud to say that Best Buddies has positively impacted more than 1.3 million individuals with and without disabilities worldwide. Our programs serve 47 elementary and middle schools, 122 high schools, 10 colleges, 46 Citizens pairs, and 217 Jobs participants within California. All of which wouldn't be possible with you! Here are some ways you can celebrate Best Buddies Month: Register for and/or donate to the Best Buddies Friendship Walk: Los Angeles: Saturday, April 23rd @ Shoreline Park Sacramento: Saturday, April 30th @ North Natomas Regional Park San Diego: Sunday, May 1st @ Liberty Station San Francisco: Saturday, April 23rd @ Golden Gate Park Sign the pledge to Spread the Word: Inclusion at spreadtheword.global Spread our mission by going out of your way to invite someone new to do something fun! Make Inclusion a Family Matter We love when our participant's passion for Best Buddies inspires others to get involved. One participant's enthusiasm for inclusion spread to her entire family. Meet the Mathenys! From left to right: Mike, Erin, Jessaca, Racheal, Carah, and Troy. The Matheny family includes Mike (dad), Erin (mom), Katelyn, Racheal, Jessaca, Carah, and Troy. The oldest Matheny sister, Katelyn, joined Best Buddies at Dublin High School in 2014. Through her involvement, the entire family "fell in love with the organization". Her younger sister, Racheal, began attending Best Buddies meetings that same year. Soon after, in 2016, Jessaca joined the chapter as the third Matheny sister to become involved. Two years later, their youngest sister, Carah, began high school and joined Best Buddies! And lastly, their youngest brother, Troy, became involved in Best Buddies in 2020. Not only have all 5 of the Matheny children been involved in Best Buddies, but majority of them have also held leadership roles. Jessaca acted as Dublin High School's Friendship Walk coordinator, club publicist, and Chapter President. Since Jessaca graduated high school in 2020, she has founded a Best Buddies chapter at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and is now the treasurer for that chapter! Carah served as club publicist, vice president and is currently the Chapter President at Dublin High School. Troy is the Leadership Liaison for the Dublin High School chapter. Left: Jessaca, Racheal, Carah; Top right: Erin with Katelyn's Buddy, Victor, and Carah's Buddy Darren; Bottom right: Katelyn "My family has adopted the mission of Best Buddies as our own personal mission, and we work to spread inclusion and acceptance for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in our daily lives. Katelyn and her buddy, Victor, are still best friends, and my family and I utilize every opportunity to empower inclusion in our communities, wherever we may be! We helped host a Best Buddies Basketball Night at Dublin High in 2020, a local Friendship Walk in 2021, and a Best Buddies Football Night in 2021. The Matheny family loves Best Buddies, and we are so grateful to be involved in such a world-changing organization." – Carah We are so impressed with the Matheny family for their dedication to spreading our mission. Thank you, Mathenys, for being community leaders and important advocates for inclusion! Ambassador of the Month Meet Sam Hersch Sam was nominated to be our first-ever Ambassador of the Month! The Ambassador of the Month is someone who has gone above and beyond in their leadership role as a Best Buddies Ambassador. It is someone who empowers others and embodies inclusion. Sam is an incredible advocate for the IDD community. He works for a University Career Center, and he recognized the gap in support for students with disabilities. He is now working with the career center to implement change. March Events Calendar VIEW EVENTS Get Involved with Best Buddies Do you want to learn more about Best Buddies and how to get involved? Join our February orientation! In just 30 minutes, you will learn about our mission, programs, and local volunteer opportunities. Plus, you'll get to meet other awesome individuals interested in making an impact! April Volunteer Orientation April 13th from 5:00pm-5:30pm SIGN UP NOW Should you have any questions, contact RichardNakai@bestbuddies.org. Join e-Buddies! If you would love an opportunity to create more connections in a virtual space, then the newly evolved e-Buddies is the place for you! When you join, you can opt to be matched in a one-to-one friendship or to only participate in our vibrant e-Buddies community through our social platform and virtual events. OR you can choose to do it all! Whichever option you choose, we look forward to having you become a member of our ever-growing and engaging e-Buddies community. LEARN MORE To receive the latest Best Buddies news and announcements, click here. Tags: California News 6 Share You also might be interested in Best Buddies in California Newsletter: October 2021 Oct 4, 2021 What does NDEAM mean to you? Different the Musical Aug 23, 2022 Learn more about a musical created by Best Buddies participant, Tyler Daynes! Best Buddies in California Newsletter: March 2021 Mar 4, 2021 Meet one of our newest State Ambassadors!