Best Buddies Debuts at LMP

Best Buddies Debuts at LMP

Zainab Abdi, Staff Writer

A new club has arrived at Lake Mary Prep. Best Buddies, an international nonprofit organization, is the newest addition to the vast, unique clubs the school has. This non-profit is dedicated to creating opportunities for friendships, employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for individuals who have developmental disabilities which impact their daily lives. This organization helps hundreds of thousands of people and now, and LMP has a chance to add to that. 

Best Buddies pairs club members with individuals who have disabilities and organizes activities for them in order to spend time together. Chapters host events such as food parties, outings, games and socials according to each chapters’ unique makeup. In this way, Best Buddies is aiming to reach their goal of  “ensuring everyone has the opportunity to have a friend.”

“I feel as though LMP will definitely benefit from this. I think experience more than anything will be achieved as it is important to be aware of those that are outside of the community we see every day. For this year, we hope to start having connections and a group of students that are willing to put the time and energy to create friendships. To us, this isn’t just about getting community service requirements but actually helping those that might need and want it,” said sophomore Khushi Mehta, the vice president of the Best Buddies Club at LMP.

Anthony Shiver is the founder of this nonprofit organization. Shiver was inspired by his aunt, who had intellectual disabilities, as well as by his mother who started the Special Olympics. Twenty years later, Shiver founded Best Buddies. The organization now is the world’s largest organization, aiming to end physical and emotional isolation for those with developmental disabilities.

Junior Brianna Letterio is leading the Best Buddies Club as the president. “As chapter president, my main goal for this club is to help create new opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Our chapter can do this by fostering one-to-one friendships between high school students with and without IDD, who are paired with each other based on their interests,” said Letterio.

This organization aims to help over 200 million people that have developmental disabilities. In fact, the organization has chapters across the 50 states and across 54 different countries. The organization provides a platform for every student to learn more, interact, and help the community.

Don’t miss out; sign up today to this brand new club by contacting either Brianna Letterio or Khushi Mehta.