By: Jay Yeaple
The York College campus supports a number of student-run clubs and organizations, ranging from community-building to interest groups. Among these organizations is Best Buddies, a chapter of the larger Best Buddies International.
Founded in 1989, the organization’s mission statement is “to establish a global volunteer movement that is able to create opportunities for friendship, integrated employment, and offer leadership development for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.” Simply put, its mission is to enhance the inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
When asked about the YCP Chapter, president and junior business administration management major Lydia Moro said, “Our vision is to put Best Buddies out of business. We hope that one day there won’t be a need for an organization like Best Buddies because there shouldn’t only be a group of people working towards these things, it should be considered a norm for everyone.” “I hope through our chapter at York College, we continue to raise awareness in order to accomplish that vision.”
Within the York community, the Chapter hosts a number of activities each year both on and off campus.
A few traditions include hosting a Halloween party, attending the Thanksgiving Dinner held at Johnson Dining Hall and participating in an Integrated Sports Day.
One of its biggest events of the year is Spread the Word to End the Word, a campaign for raising awareness about hurtfulness of the word “retarded.”
Off campus, the chapter goes pumpkin and apple picking at Brown’s Orchard, goes bowling and attends Buddy Ball. Buddy Ball is a social gathering for members and their buddies and brings together Chapters from other local colleges to join in on the fun.
When asked about what her favorite part of the club is, Moro said, “I don’t think I could pick one favorite thing about Best Buddies, because I love everything about it. However, I will say the friendship aspect is one of the greatest things. I have an incredible group of friends that I would not have made without Best Buddies and I couldn’t imagine my life without them!”
Any students interested in finding out more about Best Buddies are encouraged to look into the organization at www.bestbuddies.org. I
f they wish to participate in the chapter on campus, they can contact the president at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.