MAKING A DIFFERENCE ONE FRIENDSHIP AT A TIME: Best Buddies Club officers Leah Cederborg (left) and Tara Elsa (right) help to form friendships among individuals with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities. Cederborg, the vice president of the club, said, “I hope that Best Buddies can spread inclusion throughout the campus and further than just the club, but so all students on campus can make connections in celebration of differences.” Currently, Best Buddies meets every other Wednesday at lunch on the front lawn of campus, bringing together students and forming one-on-one friendships.
Article and Photo by Alice Brookston
As Santa Rosa High School’s Best Buddies club embarks on its second year with a continued objective of trying, it strives to build one-on-one friendships for students with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities. Currently, the club meets on Wednesday’s at lunch on the front lawn of campus to eat lunch and socialize.
Senior Madelaine Williams, a new member of the club, remarked, “It’s really cool to see everyone so excited to be there and they’re all so nice and supportive.”
The club officers are Marty Geffner (President), Leah Cederborg (Vice President), Tara Elsa (Social Media & Communications Director), Ella Ponsford (Buddy Coordinator), Anuska Parajuli (Secretary), Adan Hernandez (Activities Coordinator), Lily King (Treasurer) and Seth Geffner asis the Club Advisor.
Junior Leah Cederborg, Vice President of the club, said, “All of the Best Buddies members are inspiring every day, and it is so important that we celebrate how much more we have in common than different. Bringing Best Buddies to Santa Rosa is a way to celebrate all of Santa Rosa High School’s differences. With Best Buddies I hope that all students have a safe place to be themselves and include people from all parts of campus. I think Best Buddies is a great way to strive towards inclusion.”
Cederborg also added, “Best Buddies uses IDD (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) and sSpecial dDay cClasses for the terminology instead of special needs/special education.”
According to the official website bestbuddies.org, Best Buddies is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to establishing a volunteer movement on a global scale to create “one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”
Senior Piper Buchignani-Paris, another new member of SRHS’ Best Buddies club, also stated that, “My favorite part about Bbest Bbuddies is that I’m getting to know a bunch of new people at school. I’ve had classes with a few of the club members before, but have never gotten to know any of them. I’m happy that I’m getting to make new friends and continue old friendships with people.”
In the future, the club hopes to bring members to sporting events, participate in group activities such as crafts and games, and pPresident of the club, Junior Marty Geffner added that, “Members should expect movie nights, pizza parties, and more!”
Come to a Best Buddies meeting on a Wednesday, on the front lawn, and join in on the fun, while making new friends in the process!