Meet Brianna Mathis & Kiersten Keller
When sophomore Brianna Mathis was asked by her friend and Chapter President Christopher to join Best Buddies she knew it was something in which she wanted to be involved.
“I wanted to join Best Buddies from the minute I heard about it. My brother, Alex, has a physical disability and he really influenced my decision to join,” says Mathis.
“I love creating friendships as close as the ones here, and I hope to accomplish so much in Best Buddies. I want people to see what Best Buddies really is. Best Buddies is about including everyone no matter who they are and what their story is.”
“Before joining Best Buddies I felt like I wasn’t very interactive with different people other than my typical group of friends. I didn’t have a connection with many people. I can honestly say I’m much happier being a part of Best Buddies! Being involved is an eye opener to how everyone should be treated. Every single person should be this kind, accepting, and happy.”
Brianna was named chapter Secretary for the Manzano High School Friendship Chapter and was paired up with the new Buddy Director, Kiersten Keller.
“My buddy is Kiersten Keller and she is the sweetest girl I’ve ever encountered! I truly love being around her. When I’m having a bad day she makes me smile and we have so many laughs together,” shared Brianna.
“Kiersten has really helped shape me into who I am. I’ve always been an accepting individual, but until I met Kiersten my eyes weren’t completely open to the kind of friends you can make through Best Buddies! I truly can’t wait to see all the good she is going to bring to the world. Kiersten told me she might want to be a teacher and I can’t wait to see her graduate next year and go on to accomplish that dream!”
“We were first made aware of Best Buddies through a casual interaction in the community. We were pleased to learn that Manzano High School would be starting a chapter as well. Kiersten joined the program in the fall of 2015, spending time with her buddy and participated in both school and community Best Buddies events,” Kiersten’s mother, Julie explained.
“Kiersten has enjoyed her time at Manzano High School, but her involvement with Best Buddies has given her opportunities to meet and interact with other students that she typically wouldn’t have had a chance to meet. She has been given a chance to be a leader and to serve others. She has more friends and has other people to help her grow and also to look out for her, which is so important.”
“I love Brianna, she is such a good person,” Kiersten said with a smile. “I am honored to be her friend. I like it when we get to spend time together. She has a great sense of humor.”
Brianna and Kiersten started as strangers, but have become closer than either imagined. They see the best in each other and truly have become Best Buddies.