The best of buddies

Making the memories through the relationships


Haley Sanford

They’ll be there for you // Showing off the members of the Best Buddies program, Ms. Erwin smiles proudly. This years Buddy program had an over all impact as she says goodbye to the seniors. “I’m so proud of them when they leave and I hope they will be forever different. I feel a great sense of pride in them, especially for their future later on when they have kids they won’t feel separated either. I feel more privileged to have had the chance to give them these opportunities to be successful in their futures more than anything,” said Ms. Erwin.

Haley Sanford, Staff writer

There was never a better way than to play and make a change with a special needs kid. Who new the program would make this big of an impact?

The Best Buddies program is a friendship club for special needs students to be matched with other students at Heath. This program has been around for 8 years and was created and sponsored by teachers. Although sponsors are helping, this is an organization that is completely student ran.

“For our special needs population after high school, they are usually underemployed due to the underdeveloped social skills. Students can connect with them and benefit them for their future life outside if high school,” said Ms. Erwin.

Kids are able to apply to the program to get accepted. Most kids do normally get accepted and can be a part of the program through being associates if not matched up with a buddy.

“It impacts everyone. Me and every student involved in it because it helps with social skills and better way of creating friendships. The students have a more simple mind and it helps take them away from a lot of the stress they have in other parts of their lives,” she said.

Ms. Erwin loves her job as it makes her happy and passionate about the kids getting the same experiences as every other person in the school. Instead of sitting at home, they could be talking to their buddy and interacting in many more ways.

Ms. Erwin said, “I believe that every person should have the same opportunities as everyone else. Everyone needs a friend. As I’ve gotten older I’ve started asking myself more of the question why not? Why not do these things to help someone else?”