Earlier this year, we talked to some of the leaders of Best Buddies to interview them about what the mission of their club is, their plans for this year, and why people should join.
Best Buddies is a club that teams up with other schools to support inclusion. It encourages community that does not discriminate, and creates awareness for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“It means a lot because I have family members and friends who have disabilities and I want for them to be included and welcomed into society as opposed to the ‘norm’ now of being isolated,” Olivia Cristillo ‘21 said. “Many people suffer or know people that suffer from mental disabilities, and it is important to make them feel included and not feel different because they are not society’s norm.”
Their goal for this year was to spread a sense of inclusion across the school and grow the club overall Cristillo said. They also had a trip to The Kennedy School, which is St. John’s friendship school. Most recently they had The Friendship Walk that included all Best Buddies chapters in the DMV area.
Best Buddies is an important and special club. Aela Riley ‘21 said, “Best Buddies is special because we strive to include all people, no matter who they are. Our mission is to spread inclusion, and by having this club we are doing that within our SJC community. Students should join Best Buddies because it promotes the mission of inclusion and joins our communities together (St. Johns and the Kennedy School). We just want to spread the message of inclusion through our field trips and activities with the students of the Kennedy School.”
We talked to them again to find out their plans for the rest of the year, summer, and the beginning of the next school year. They plan to further encourage participation of the lower grades that could become leadership roles in the future years. They also plan on fundraising for their cause over the summer.