Welcome to Best Buddies New York
Welcome to the Empire State! Best Buddies has strong programs in New York that enrich the lives of youth and adults with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). To date, Best Buddies is represented on 88 middle school, high school and college campuses across and has matched 62 adults with IDD in one-to-one friendships in the Citizens programs in Albany and New York City. More than 1,000 friendships are happening across the state! Our friendship programs are supported by local special events as well as private and corporate contributions. With the amazing support from the Golisano Foundation in 2016, we were able to open our fourth office in Rochester, expanding our impact to Western New York.
Best Buddies New York also offers our supported employment program, known as Best Buddies Jobs, in the Metro New York Area. New York staff members are currently supporting 18 adults with disabilities who are either seeking or successfully employed in community, integrated employment. The Jobs program is supported by the Ticket to Work program, individual contributions and private foundations.
In addition to the great programs offered across the state, our four area offices work diligently to plan and host exciting regional activities and training to help support the growth and development of Best Buddies student leaders and participants with IDD. The school year is not complete without the infamous Best Buddies Friendship Ball! These inclusive dances allow over 1,400 students from all chapters to come together and celebrate the culmination of the year’s friendships. Each area office also participates in an annual Best Buddies Friendship Walk, which is geared towards raising awareness of programs and most importantly, celebrating the amazing impact of inclusive friendships, integrated employment opportunities and leaders within our communities. In 2016 over 2,500 students, teachers, parents, siblings and community members attended three Walks across the state, and demonstrated to their local communities the power of friendship. Other highlights of the year included our Benefit Concert at Carnegie Hall with Elaine Kwon. This event has hosted world class performances by artists such as David Bryan, Brittany Maier, Questlove and Marlana VanHoose in celebration of our mission of inclusion. The proceeds from our 2016 event helped launch Best Buddies Jobs in the Metro New York Area. The Woman Making a Difference Luncheon and Fashion Show in Albany recognizes females who have successfully balanced work, family, community service and made Best Buddies their mission. We are able to highlight some of our biggest champions and community leaders with an afternoon of food, fashion, friendship and philanthropy.
With a record number of participants and leaders attending the Annual Best Buddies Leadership Conference in July, and Local Leadership Training Days hosted by each office in the fall, this year is poised to be record breaking for Best Buddies in New York.
Of course, these accomplishments would not be possible without the support of local Advisory Board members, dedicated volunteers, devoted staff, generous sponsors, foundation donors, individual donors and corporate partners.
Thank you for being a part of Best Buddies in New York.