Best Buddies International, Inc.
October 31, 2010
The first organization I looked for at NYU's club fair was Best Buddies. Last year, as a freshman at a new school, I wanted to be a part of something fun, exciting, fulfilling and most of all, familiar. I had been a part of the Best Buddies International organization since my freshman year of high school and became the Chapter President my senior year. Although as a Chapter President I held many leadership responsibilities, the work that I put into building of our chapter never felt like work at all; I had the incredible support of Gerri Caruncho, the chapter advisor; Catherine Houlihan, the program manager; and my members who were always willing to volunteer extra time and share responsibilities. In Best Buddies, it is the culminated efforts of an entire chapter that determines its success of becoming an extended family.
The four years that I had spent at Gulliver Preparatory School in Miami, Florida were absolutely changed by my experiences in Best Buddies. Greater than the great love and dedication we worked to create in our chapter was the sense of pride, accomplishment and fulfillment of our chapter that Best Buddies has given us in return. More than I could ever teach my Buddy, Anya, is what she has taught me in return - to be a better person. After graduating high school I can only hope to share what my Anya has taught me with others in NYU Best Buddies and beyond: acceptance, respect, loyalty, trust and understanding - the constitutes of true, unconditional friendship.
Of the many strengths of Best Buddies is that it is an organization that works for the future. It's dynamic encourages members and Buddies to grow as the organization grows, rather than just be a simple volunteer. With Best Buddies and what I have learned from it, I continue to grow as a person with the experiences I have with my new Buddy, Marieanne. Just last week we made princess crowns for her costume for the Halloween Best Buddies party. I was cutting out the gemstone shapes and the crown templates extremely carefully when Marieanne reminded me that she would love her crown no matter how it looked because I had helped her make it. With Best Buddies, I hope more people will realize that it doesn't matter if Marieanne doesn't know how to use scissors, she knows so much more that is truly valuable. She reminds me that perfection isn't what is important, but rather, the imperfections that make life special - A true testament to the Best Buddies mission.
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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
not change a thing. Best Buddies is on a path to making great change and just needs the support of great individuals to continue their success.
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
Volunteer & As a Chapter President of my high school chapter, I organized and lead meetings and events for forty members and six Buddies over the course of an academic year. As a member at NYU, my Buddy and I continue to converse weekly and participate in fun events .