Best Buddies is a “nonprofit 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.” I have been involved with Best Buddies for over 7 years now and my experience so far has been amazing. I have had the opportunity to do a lot of fun things and I am an ambassador and intern now which have helped me develop my leadership, public speaking, and self-advocacy skills over the past few years.
In 2018, I had the opportunity to speak at Oakhurst Country Club Golf Course in Grove City Ohio in 2018. I also got the opportunity to go to Bloomington, Indiana for a weekend at the end of July 2018 for a Best Buddies Leadership Conference to be on the Ambassador’s Track. I got to give a keynote speech at the Gala in 2018. I also got to lead a webinar called Spread the Word to End the Word. I also got to speak at the Miranova 2 Ohio Equities in the fall of 2018.
In May of 2019, I got to speak at The Ohio State House. I got to testify. At the beginning of the school year in 2019, I got to speak at the Best Buddies Information Session to people who wanted to join Best Buddies that are new. As an Ambassador, I have participated in Champion of the Year, which is a contest to see who can raise the most money for Best Buddies, for the past three years.
Being part of Best Buddies led to an internship. I intern virtually and write about what I do for Best Buddies, get more people involved with Best Buddies, and assist with developing their newsletter. I love that Best Buddies has allowed me the opportunity to build on and learn new skills, make and create new friendships that last a lifetime, get more involved in my community.
-Written by Alex Rogers, TOPS Student