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AHS Rocket Launch

AHS Rocket Launch

Best Buddies Club: Make a Difference, Make Friends


Best Buddies is a club started by three Assumption students hoping to create inclusivity for those who suffer from disabilities. These students are Anna Koeberlein, Avery Dobozi, and Mary Claire Stukenborg. Together, they created opportunities for Assumption students to get out of their comfort zone and interact with those with physical and developmental disabilities. The club has grown quite popular because of their drive and dedication. When asked why Anna Koeberlein wanted to start a Best Buddies Club, she replied, “Growing up with a twin with special needs, I had heard about other Best Buddies programs my twin participated in at his public schools and how beneficial it was in bringing disability awareness to students. Going through the private Catholic school environment since kindergarten, I saw that many of my peers hadn’t had experience spending time with those with disabilities. I knew there needed to be more disability awareness at Assumption, so, when Mary Claire came up to me asking if she wanted me to help her set up a Best Buddies chapter at Assumption, I hopped onto the idea immediately.” Mary Claire believed that starting the club would, “promote inclusion among people with disabilities.” She says, “The community of Assumption had not been exposed to this group of people and the club is a great way to make a difference while making friends.” Members of the club are able to be paired with a buddy who has a disability. Activities are held to create friendships among students. The club’s main purpose is to spread awareness of how people with disabilities live their lives. Activities can range from painting pumpkins to creating goodie bags. There is also an annual Best Buddies walk which is a big event for fun and games for the buddies. The Club members meet once a month to discuss important information and upcoming events. Some of the founders’ favorite memories are during activities at Best Buddies and with the organization Dreams with Wings. Dreams with Wings dedicates their time to people with disabilities like Best Buddies does. Their mission statement is, “to help empower individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism as they learn to recognize their strengths, contribute to their community, and pursue their dreams. Anna said, “My favorite memory of the club was recently when we did pumpkin painting activity at Dreams with Wings. I loved seeing everyone get creative and paint designs on pumpkins, anything from the colors of their favorite sports team to cute paintings of cats. The weather was great, and it was so great to see the Assumption girls hang out with the people at Dreams with Wings. We even had a pinata at the end, which everyone really enjoyed.” Mary Claire’s favorite memory was also painting pumpkins. Avery’s favorite memory from the club was joining the Wednesday Team Meetup at Dreams with Wings and being able to spend time with all the buddies and create relationships. These experiences are impactful to both those who are and who aren’t disabled. If you are an Assumption student looking to get involved, Best Buddies would be beneficial to you. You can make a difference and spread awareness all while having fun and fostering relationships.

By: Caroline Hamilton



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