West’s Best Buddies allows students to form new connections

Best Buddies is a program that fosters one-to-one relationships with students who have an intellectual development disorder (IDD). The founder of this program and a graduate of Georgetown University, Anthony K. Shriver, created this organization to “ [expand] the realm of opportunities that people with IDD should experience.” The ultimate goal of this organization is to create a “perfect world” in which there won’t be a need for Best Buddies because everyone is comfortable with, and accepting of those who have an IDD.

This amazing club is an important part of the Glenbard West community because it is an extremely inclusive program that allows students to express themselves and form new friendships. Best Buddies allows students to understand and be more aware of others who are different from themselves.  The club also allows for so many new connections to form with genuine people.

Board Member Colleen Shanahan says, “I couldn’t imagine not being a part of the lives of the many amazing kids in [Best Buddies]. They are all so welcoming and seeing them is the highlight of my day.”

During club meetings, which are once a month on Wednesdays after school, students often engage in various activities that help strengthen the bonds created in this club. This year alone, there has been a lip sync contest, movie day, luau, and costume party. Best Buddies also goes on many field trips throughout the year including Sonny Acres, Dave & Busters, and many more.

Being a part of this amazing club is extremely beneficial for students and the Glenbard West environment. Students can become more aware of issues many kids with an IDD face, and form important friendships with those who are different than themselves. Consider joining this club next year and help foster a more inclusive Glenbard West community.  Congratulations to West’s Best Buddies program for earning Illinois’ Best Buddies Executive Board of the Year.  Glenbard West’s Best Buddies Executive Board includes Presidents Finola Hammersmith and Eve Shanahan, Vice President Maeve O’Dea, Secretary Colleen Shanahan, Treasurer Nick Houghtaling, Publicity Ellery DiVenere and Patricia Rayer, Freshman Rep Emmie Roberts and Buddy Director Melanie Quinones.