The Best Buddies helps form new friendships


Carson Wright (12) and Martenez Jones (12) get to know each other and bond by wearing grass skirts to the initial meeting party of the Best Buddies club.

The world is full of people from different backgrounds; however, there is still a divide that needs to be broken. The goal of Best Buddies is to “cross the invisible line that too often separates those with disabilities (buddies) from those without (peers/peer buddies),” Anthony K. Shriver, the founder of Best Buddies, said.

Best Buddies is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Best Buddies’ high school division, like the one at White Station, focuses on connecting typical students with students with disabilities to foster new friendships.  

“It’s meaningful to help her get through anything she is going through, and let her know that I’m there for her,” a peer, Olivia Freeman (10) said. “I can be someone she can talk to.”

Best Buddies helps foster new relationships by connecting pairs through parties and time spent with other buddies as well.

“I have made new friends. I really like making new friends.” Michael Jackson (11), who has known his peer buddy Brandon Quach (11) since middle school.

Carson Wright (12), the peer buddy, and Martenez Jones (12), the buddy, were interviewed together, and the friendship is clearly evident.

“I’ve had a great time,” Jones said.

Carson nods. “Yeah, [it’s been] really positive,” Wright said.

The two have had a lot of fun at club-sponsored gatherings, which have given them time to bond and become closer. Wright first met Jones at the Match Party where they both wore matching grass skirts. Over time, their friendship has grown.

“I call him when he’s at home, checking up on him,” Jones said. “I enjoy when he calls me.”  “We talk about everything—about dinner, what we did that day,” Wright said.

Many buddies and peers recommend that everyone experiences Best Buddies.

“Yes, [I recommend Best Buddies] because it’s fun and you meet new people,” Jackson said.

They recommend it because of the way it will change your perspective.

“It gives you a perspective not everybody sees, and can change the way you look at certain people,” Freeman said.