The Hawk Times

BBFL (Best Buddies For Life)

April Murphree

Staff Writer, Kayla Johnson, Staff Writer

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Friends forever, talking on the phone each day, knowing that the students are loved by someone each minute. That is what Best Buddies is all about: making special students feel as though they have someone to count on.

Best Buddies is an organization that works one on one with special needs students. Most people that are in Best Buddies love what they do and what the organization asks of them. “To me BB is just what it sounds like. Just being there for kids as a friend; they are like any other person. They need someone to hang out with and to talk to. That’s what we are there for,” freshman Natalie Harris said.

Best Buddies is an organization that allows students to form relationships that last for a lifetime. A lot of love and effort goes into the planning of all the events and things that go on with the club. “There is a lot of life long relationships made through the club not only by buddy and peer buddy, but with peer buddies as well. You find people with the same interests and it turns into great friendships,” sophomore Gabrielle Browning said. Buddies make weekend plans with each other including movie nights, bowling, and occasional fundraisers, text or talk face-to-face. “Making plans with each other happens constantly! We are always inviting our buddy to come with us to the movies, or games, or just hang out somewhere!” Browning said.

“The club consists of students ranging from freshman to seniors, both special education and general ed. Anyone can be a part of the club, but to be a “peer buddy” there is a mandatory interview,” senior Lillian Reeves said. Many students that are members in the club have an interest in working with special needs kids for a living later in life. “It’s a great experience for people who want to work with special needs kids in the future and a great chance for the special students to branch out and meet new people, do new things, and have the same high school experience that everyone else gets,” Reeves said.

Some people are unsure about working with special needs students. “I don’t think people are super wary, I just think they are unsure of what to expect and act around them. Just act like you would around anybody else,” Harris said. Special needs students are just like everyone else except in the way they interact with others. They all have one thing in common: the same need for love and assurance that they are loved.

In order to make a society that accepts these children, know when to act and speak up. “Creating a better community as a student, I think, is seeing someone help someone else. If you see someone struggling, give him or her support and help him or her with whatever it is. Or when you hear someone being a bully stand up for the victim, whether you know them or not, like them or not, or they are your complete opposite, be the bigger person and help,” Browning said.

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BBFL (Best Buddies For Life)