Emma & Maddie: Best Buddies Citizens Pair
Best Buddies launched the Citizens community-based adult friendship program in North Carolina in 2020! Citizens creates one-to-one friendships between adults 18+ with and without intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD) in the community. These friendships are made based on age, location, and common interests.
Friendship matches talk at least once a week and meet up at least twice a month (virtually or in-person). Matches are made for a full year, and if everything is going well, the friendship is renewed. There is a multi-step application process, that includes an online application, background check & phone/video interview. Best Buddies’ first community Citizens pair, Maddie and Emma, celebrated their one-year friend-a-versary on December 10, 2021, and have successfully continued their relationship!
“Emma and I were matched about a year ago and our friendship has grown in ways I didn’t know was possible. We started out with a lot of facetime and trips to the movie theatre and since then we have been able to experience so many incredible things together. We have tried dozens of new restaurants, shopped until we dropped, went to a fashion show, trick or treated, got to film as extras in a movie, and our most recent adventure was going to a concert together where we sat front row and were able to meet Emma’s favorite artists, Home Free! The fun never stops with Emma. Our friendship has gone from doing things we like together, to liking everything we do, as long as we are together. She radiates joy and light wherever she goes, and I simply could not ask for a more pure and authentic friendship. I am so thankful for Best Buddies for introducing us. I have made a lifelong friend and I am so excited to see what other shenanigans we get into in the years to come!” – Maddie Smith
The two were featured by our community partner Livable Meck in their 2021 Progress Report. Here is a sneak peek of their interview:
To learn more about getting involved in the Citizens program and the application process, please contact email@example.com!