His name is Brian. He walked into my life 11 years ago as a creative prankster with wispy blonde hair and 500-mega-watt smile. I was a 15 year old self absorbed high school kid whose biggest concern was passing a driving test. When Brian's dad asked me if I'd like to join a program called Best Buddies, my answer was an immediate "Yes!" Our friendship grew over Steak n' Shake dinners, pool parties, and high school football games. Brian was growing from a quiet boy into a confident young man. I was getting a free education on what really matters in friendship.
With Brian, there was never any drama like you would typically find in high school. Instead it was simple, pure friendship where we just wanted to have fun. My friendship with Brian gave me a completely new perspective on respect and responsibility. Brian & I are still best friends, and led to my decision to become a teacher. His name is Brian and he changed my life.
Mr. Worrell/4th Grade Teacher/Chicago Public Schools
See more about the friendship between Brad & Brian in the attached video.
Best Buddies, with 85 school chapters throughout Indiana, builds friendships between people with and without IDD, improving the quality of life and level of inclusion for a population that is often isolated and excluded. Best Buddies integrated employment services secures jobs for people with IDD, the segment of population with the highest unemployment rate, allowing them to earn an income and independently support themselves. Best Buddies also offers leadership development opportunities, empowering people with and without IDD to become leaders, public speakers and advocates.