What if I told you that you could have a friend that would love you unconditionally and not judge you for anything said or done; it sounds pretty good, right?
This is exactly what the friendships are like that form in the Best Buddies Club at Auburn University.
Best Buddies was created nationally in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver. The club is represented in all 50 states and in 50 countries around the world.
Best Buddies is focused on creating friendships between college students and individuals with disabilities.
The Auburn club of Best Buddies was created in the 90’s and is the largest Best Buddies club in the United States with over 200 active students and 98 buddies.
These one-on-one friendships allow the student and the buddy to have a lifelong bond with someone they may not have known without the club. Every student is paired up with a specific buddy that they get to interact with and know on a personal level.
The current President of Best Buddies, Lauren Swindle, says that “Best Buddies has allowed me to meet one of my best friends; I am forever grateful for this club.”
Throughout the fall and spring, Best Buddies host many socials which include; bowling nights, a Halloween party, Thanksgiving Party, Christmas party, days at the park, movie nights, and a Valentine dance.
Each student is expected to meet with their buddy once a month outside of these activities to keep up a lasting friendship.
Rachel Solorio, a freshman and new member of the club states that she got involved with the program because she “knew it would be something that would be very rewarding and help me grow as a person. Best Buddies has changed my perspective on life.”
Solorio goes on to explain that her major is art therapy and that by working with her buddy she is learning a lot about her career too. Best Buddies is not only creating bonds, but it allows students to get experience in their particular field of study.
Many special education majors join to learn more about their major and the students they will one day be teaching.
There are so many ways to get involved on Auburn’s campus; Best Buddies is one of the most rewarding and life changing clubs available. Every student that is involved is passionate about every Buddy and is excited to share their stories about the time they get to spend together.
Make an impact in someone’s life today.