20th Annual Best Buddies Leadership Conference 2023
Portland, Oregon – August 24, 2023 – Four Best Buddies representatives from Oregon attended the 2023 Best Buddies Leadership Conference: Reunited for Inclusion in Bloomington, Indiana from July 21-July 24, 2023.
Best Buddies International is a groundbreaking nonprofit founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). After two years of virtual Best Buddies Leadership Conference (BBLC) and one year of localized leadership conferences, BBLC returned to Indiana University, with this year’s event theme being Reunited for Inclusion. The leadership conference prepared student leaders to operate the Best Buddies chapters at their schools, which involves recruiting new members, planning group activities for their chapters and promoting social integration for people with IDD.
The Oregon office, which has approximately 52 participants across its eight programs, was opened in 2016. Oregon sent four representatives to BBLC, which consisted of two staff, one advisor and one Ambassador.
“BBLC was so much fun, and I made a lot of friends,” Oregon State Ambassador Logan Stromberg said. “I also worked on my speech-writing skills. There is so much to learn from the BBLC and there is something for everyone, whether it is high school, college, the ambassador track or the community leader track.”
Nearly 2,000 students, leaders, volunteers and staff members, representing Canada, Chile, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey and the United States traveled to participate in the conference, on July 21-24. Students, selected to participate in the conference for their active leadership roles within Best Buddies, attended a series of interactive workshops focusing on leadership development, community service, civic responsibility, IDD and volunteerism. The leadership conference was live-streamed and showcased the amazing performances, speakers and education sessions that took place this year.
ABOUT BEST BUDDIES INTERNATIONAL:
Best Buddies® is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant organization that has grown from one original chapter to nearly 3,000 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Today, Best Buddies’ nine formal programs — Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies®, Jobs, Ambassadors, Promoters and Inclusive Living— engage participants in each of the 50 states and in 49 countries, positively impacting the lives of nearly 1 million people with and without disabilities around the world. In many cases, as a result of their involvement with Best Buddies, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities secure rewarding jobs, live on their own, become inspirational leaders, and make lifelong friendships. For more information, please visit www.bestbuddies.org, facebook.com/bestbuddies or instagram.com/bestbuddies.
For media inquiries (including requests for credentials):
305.374.2233 ext. 209