Best Buddies ready to make friends

Azura Gutierrez, Staff Writer

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The Best Buddies club has one overarching goal in mind: to make all students feel welcome and equal.

Best Buddies is a nonprofit organization that creates opportunities for one-on-one friendships. Students all around the world gather every year and form a bond with a disabled student. The Best Buddies program has been around since 1962. This year at Branham, the Best Buddies president is senior Terynn McNairnie.

To McNairnie, Best Buddies and its mission are of the utmost importance, seeing as she has a disabled brother and has seen firsthand how he is treated differently than others.

“[My reason for joining Best Buddies] is to stand up for the disabled and celebrate people with different disabilities,” McNairnie said.

To get into Best Buddies there is a short application process online and in the classroom. Following this you will be interviewed to see how compatible you are with any of the available buddies. Although not all students get paired with a buddy, on average, the club gets about 100 students.

The club meets every Wednesday during lunch, but the students who have one on one buddies occasionally meet outside of school. Best Buddies does fundraisers monthly to raise money for the end of the year Best Buddies Friendship Walk. On Feb. 28, all around the world people will gather and walk different locations. Following this is the Best Buddies Prom which is a great experience not only for the buddies but also for the volunteers.