February 10, 2023 | FEATURES | By Carlee Castillo
It is no secret that Colorado College often isolates itself from the surrounding community. The CC “bubble” is very much intact and can often inhibit community outreach. However, CC’s Best Buddies Club is actively breaking through these barriers.
Best Buddies connects CC students with members of the greater Colorado Springs community who have developmental and/or intellectual disabilities. CC students are paired in one-on-one relationships with such individuals. The club relies on the power of friendship, kindness, and acceptance to thrive. Through these friendships, Best Buddies fosters community and effectively bursts the illusion of CC’s bubble.
Anthony Kennedy Shriver founded Best Buddies in 1987, after taking inspiration from his aunt, Rosemary Kennedy, who lived with intellectual disabilities. Since its conception at Georgetown University, Best Buddies has transformed countless lives and undergone some serious progress. The nonprofit is now operative in 47 countries and boasts almost 3,000 chapters across the globe.
Although the Colorado College chapter of Best Buddies focuses mostly on friendship, the international nonprofit cultivates many more skills. The Best Buddies Jobs program encourages integrated employment, securing jobs for people who experience intellectual and/or physical disabilities, and providing resources for members to independently support themselves. Through their website, you can apply for a position or hire a participant. In addition, Best Buddies also offers multiple leadership programs and assistance in finding inclusive living situations.
At CC, Best Buddies’ leadership is always looking for new members. Once a block, the club congregates to enjoy games, snacks, movies, or just each other’s company. Co-chair of the club, Natasha Jaddock ‘24, cites Best Buddies as one of the leading forces in helping her connect.
“I have loved being able to lead Best Buddies! It is so fun making connections within the broader Colorado Springs community,” said Jaddock. “The fun events we have are usually some of the highlights of my semesters.”
By becoming a leader and member of Best Buddies at CC, I have also made meaningful connections and memories that will last a lifetime.
To learn more or join the club, contact Jaddock at firstname.lastname@example.org.