The Power Of Friendship

Rhea Patel, Writer

Founded in 1989, Best Buddies Friendship Program is an organization dedicated to making one-to-one friendships between students with and without disabilities. There are 1,175 high school chapters, and at Bryant, it is offered as a school club with meetings and events every month.

At the beginning of October, Best Buddies had their first big event: a Hawaiian-themed match party where students got to meet their peer buddies. The party was coordinated by the president of the club, senior Jenna Vos. Although there were more people than expected, Vos believed everything went smoothly.

“Most of the buddies came, which was good, and it was just fun to hang out, play some games and eat some food,” Vos said.

Vos puts so much time and effort into running the club because she believes that peer buddies are just like students without disabilities. She believes that Best Buddies is important because it continues to promote inclusion for students who have disabilities and show others that they are not any less capable.

“We just need to continue being accepting and letting them know that we’re here for them and that we care about them,” Vos said.

One of Vos’ favorite parts about Best Buddies is hanging out with the buddies. Even if it is just a quick wave in the hall or a walk to class together, she enjoys any time she can spend with them.

“Even if I’m not in a direct relationship with a buddy, I still enjoy becoming friends with them and making these friendships that I know will last a lifetime,” Vos said.

Junior Josie Pyle enjoys the program and has made a close friend, senior Juliana Rushing. Pyle enjoys hanging out at the events in general, but her favorite thing she’s done is hang out at the movies with Rushing.

“I enjoy meeting new people and making new friends,” Pyle said. “Juliana is my best friend.”

Rushing feels the same way about Pyle, who has been her buddy for two years now. Rushing says that Pyle is one of her best friends.

“My favorite part is to see how happy this club makes the buddies, and how the friendships really have an effect on their life,” Rushing said.

Best Buddies had their most recent event Nov. 27. Students gathered after school to make crafts and hang out with each other.

“I wanted to join because it helps and benefits students like me when it comes to understanding our buddy and really connecting with them,” Rushing said. “There’s always a lot of pictures and laughs when we get together.”