Best of buddies
Commitment is a key factor for Towson University’s Best Buddies chapter success, member Mary Miles said.
“The fact that our members love Best Buddies and are making friends is what makes us so successful,” Miles said.
With that commitment in mind, Miles said, the TU’s Best Buddies chapter was voted the “Maryland Chapter of the Year” for the third consecutive year.
“We truly care about what we do,” sophomore Best Buddies member Joanna Rizzo said. “We aren’t members of this for our resumes.”
Best Buddies is a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Special education major and president of the group Jaynie Jones said that she was exceptionally happy with the group for winning the Chapter of the Year title once again.
“Our number one priority in our chapter is to make sure that people with disabilities are gaining the friendship and support they deserve,” Jones said.
Rizzo said that to be successful, it’s important to have a close relationship with your buddy.
“I knew [my buddy] before I joined and I was very fortunate to get paired with her this year,” Rizzo said. “She is a wonderful person who has taught me a lot and I am lucky to call her my friend. My buddy is a large part of my life and I want her to remain that way.”
Rizzo said that she and the other 135 members enjoy monthly events that the group holds such as talent shows, tie-dying, laser tag, bowling and trips to Hershey Park.
Most importantly, Rizzo said, the group participates in the Best Buddies Maryland Friendship Walk and the End the R-Word campaign.
“Our members really take the mission of Best Buddies seriously and go over and beyond to support the inclusion of people with disabilities,” Jones said.