Participant Spotlight: Marissa Gebhard
University of Notre Dame / St. Mary’s College
Best Buddies Volunteer Position:
Chapter Faculty Advisor
How long have you been volunteering for Best Buddies?
I started as the chapter faculty advisor in 1999, so it’s been eighteen years so far. I’ve been part of Best Buddies longer than anything else in my life. I love Best Buddies!
What do you do as a Best Buddies volunteer (responsibilities)?
The student leaders do a great job of planning fun events for the buddy pairs, and I support them in several ways. I serve as a resource of knowledge of what the chapter has previously done and know the rules, and procedures that we need to follow. Sometimes, I connect our chapter leaders with others on campus that can help us with donations or arrange tickets to sporting events for our buddy pairs. A few of the students have planned tours of the Notre Dame football stadium and locker room. We all loved those events.
How has Best Buddies changed your life?
I am more selfless because of Best Buddies, and I have so many life-long friends because of Best Buddies. In fact, one of the student leaders was a bridesmaid in my wedding. I love all of the buddies and college buddies.
How do you feel like Best Buddies has impacted your school/community?
Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students and alumni are more inclusive because of their experiences with Best Buddies.
What is your favorite Best Buddies memory?
I have so many sweet memories of Buddies, so this is a tough one. Just this past Christmas, we had a beautiful, memorable Christmas party at LOGAN Center. One of the buddies opened a present from her college buddy, and a huge smile spread across her whole face. She was so excited. It was a Taylor Swift calendar! I love so many moments like that in Best Buddies.