Best Buddies International, a non-profit organization focused on individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, has designated the University of Notre Dame’s chapter as an Outstanding Chapter of the Year for the 2008-09 school year.
The Notre Dame chapter was honored in July at the awards ceremony of the 20th annual Best Buddies Leadership Conference in Bloomington, Ind.
The Best Buddies program seeks to eliminate social isolation for those with disabilities by creating strong one-on-one friendships with non-disabled peers.
The program was started by Anthony Kennedy Shriver in 1989 at Georgetown University and has grown to include more than 1,400 middle school, high school and college chapters worldwide. More than 400,000 lives have been touched by this organization.
The Notre Dame chapter pairs Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College students with South Bend citizens with disabilities through the Logan Center. Chapter events, which include karaoke night, bowling, science night and costume parties, are held twice a month. Buddy pairs also spend time in one-to-one settings engaging in activities such as going to the movies, shopping, a Notre Dame sporting event, or out to eat.
The award winner is selected based on the quality of its one-to-one friendships, group outings, chapter involvement, community awareness and chapter communication. The Notre Dame chapter also was recognized for its strong student leadership, faculty support and community connections.
The Notre Dame Best Buddies chapter also was honored in 2004 with an honorable mention for national Chapter of the Year and as Chapter of the Year for the State of Indiana.
Contact: Best Buddies, firstname.lastname@example.org