We’re so excited about all our new additions to the YLC! In this post, my friend and new YLC member, Lindsey, explains what Best Buddies means to her:
Hi! My name is Lindsey Eaton and I am a Young Leaders Council member and a Buddy Ambassador for Best Buddies Arizona.
Have you experienced your life without a true friend? When I was young, all I wanted was a true friend who would be there for me through thick and thin.
Before I came to Chaparral High School, I began doing some research on the school’s website to see if I could find any clubs that would help me make new friends. I instantly came across our Best Buddies chapter and knew I wanted to join so I could have a genuine friend who would see me for my abilities and who I could hang out with on the weekends, sit with at lunch, and talk to on the phone!
A few months after I started high school, a teacher came up to me and asked if I was interested in joining Best Buddies. Little did I know, my life would change instantly when I attended the first meeting. Every single hope and dream became a reality. Since then, I have met many new friends with and without disabilities. I have gotten to know my school’s administrative team, including out formal principal – Mrs. Muccino – who is currently the Director of Special Education in Scottsdale Unified School District. Additionally, I have gotten to know our school’s Best Buddies Program Manager and advisors!
Best Buddies has given me opportunities to become a leader. I was asked to become an Ambassador for Best Buddies Arizona a few years after I first joined my chapter. Buddy Ambassadors advocate for the disability rights movement by sharing their personal speeches within their communities and schools. No one thought Best Buddies would be as big of a part of my life as it is now. This year, I have shared my Ambassador speech at Chaparral’s match party and informational meeting- as well as three other high schools AND statewide Best Buddies Arizona speaking engagements. In addition to being a Buddy Ambassador, I am also Chaparral’s Buddy Director and have been for the past two years.
A few months ago, I was chosen to serve a two-year term on the Best Buddies International Young Leaders Council as a result of my passion and devotion to Best Buddies! I am excited to get to know my fellow YLC members this summer at Leadership Conference, where I will be leading a session on anti-bullying and disability awareness for middle school student leaders.
Lindsey’s not the only one excited about this summer- all of us from the YLC can’t wait to meet all of YOU at Leadership Conference! Let us know what you’re looking forward to or want to talk about by leaving a comment or tweeting us @BestBuddiesYLC! We can’t wait to connect!