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.
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