BSU has so many amazing clubs and organizations on campus to join and I recently had the pleasure to learn more about one of the school’s most popular organizations! Best Buddies is an international nonprofit organization that, at BSU, focuses on friendship and leadership for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The well deserving President, Evelyn Abbott (she/her), had nothing but the absolute best to say about the organization. As a member of Best Buddies for the past 7 years, Abbott has gained friendships, leadership skills, and future job plans.
“I’m a severe special ed in communication sciences and disorders double major with a literacy studies minor,” said Abbott. “I hope to be either a teacher in a severe multiple disabilities classroom, or help students with communication difficulties”.
In addition to Abbott, other major leaders in Best Buddies include the Vice President, Caroline Gable (she/her), and the Buddy Director, Jake Quinn (he/him).
Quinn, also known to many as “The Mayor”, has a major role in the group.
“[Jake] basically makes sure that all of our members with intellectual disabilities or physical disabilities are happy and feel included and safe,” said Abbott. “He also helps the vice president match our one to one or two to one friendships. Jake is literally the best”.
Along with having great leadership, Best Buddies also plans amazing school events! One of the biggest events they do is lighting up Boyden purple to represent down syndrome and autism awareness. Also, this week marks the time where buddy pairs are made for the year!
Another new and fun addition to the Best Buddies events are the Special Olympics! According to Abbott, “We’ve teamed up with Special Olympics of Massachusetts to bring a soccer skills clinic for our students on campus, and students in the area with disabilities”.
Between the great members, awesome events, and overall being a fun and upbeat atmosphere, Abbott sees the group as nothing but successful. “I think that the success of our organization really comes from our members, specifically our members with disabilities,” said Abbott. “Just the fact that we have such a large group of people who are so excited and interested about our club makes us all really happy and our school being so inclusive, it’s great!”.
To wrap up the interview, Abbott gave some great advice for getting involved with Best Buddies if it seems like the place for you. “You can get involved in best buddies by either being what’s called an associate member where you come to our events. We usually have two months we have things like karaoke night, ice cream social, and a Halloween dance is coming up,” said Abbott. “You can also be a peer buddy where you are matched in a pair with a student with an intellectual or developmental disability and appear with a disability and they usually hang out weekly or every other week. It’s just a great way to build more personal friendships within our bigger chapter.”.