Friendship program participants
“Where do I even begin? Best Buddies has opened so many doors for me – but most importantly, it has shown me the road to inclusion and friendship. I have met my lifelong best friend, Megan.
In seventh grade during gym class, I noticed a girl about my height with long dirty blonde hair that always seemed to be off on her own. That day, I decided to go over and talk to her. This girl was not ordinary, she was extraordinary. She was shy and quiet at first but once I got to know her, she was a bundle of energy, light and positivity.
Leadership Development program – Ambassadors
“Hello everyone! My name is Jack Mayor. I’m 17 and a soon-to-be senior at Neuqua Valley High School in Illinois. I became an Ambassador for Best Buddies last year and I am loving every single second of it and I will tell you why. Before I share my story about Best Buddies with you, I want to share some things about myself. One in 68 kids are diagnosed with autism and it affects one in 42 boys. I am one of those 42 boys. I was diagnosed with autism at the age of six. Life with autism is a daily struggle.
Jobs program – Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
It took Kevin a while to find a job that was the right fit. As he tells it, he spent years “working with other job agencies in efforts to find a good job, which came with a lot of frustration and [few] results.” Kevin experienced firsthand what we already know: that many of the jobs in today’s workforce are either inaccessible to, or limiting for, individuals with disabilities. He needed a workplace that would not only set clear expectations for him, but also help him find opportunities for growth. Kevin found that in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).