Best Buddies Begins at Benet

This January, the Best Buddies organization came to Benet. Spurred by the actions of Emma Duffy (‘21), the international organization that aims to forge relationships between students with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities now has a program at Benet. Emma reached out to the Illinois chapter of Best Buddies after seeing how the special education students her mother teaches struggled in the COVID-19 lockdown. The Benet program now works to connect Benet students with students at Giant Step, a school in Lisle for students with autism.  

The program has seen success so far, with over 100 people signed up to act as Buddies. The board, consisting of 11 members, works together to organize social gatherings between Benet and Giant Steps students that allow them to interact and create friendships. Input from the Giant Steps students is critical, and this is ensured by having a Giant Steps student representative present on the board to help organize the events. Even a pandemic has not been able to stop Best Buddies, only shifting the model, as they have opted to hold virtual rather than in person meetings to protect the health of all the students. Best Buddies has impacted the lives of people with and without disabilities around the country, and, thanks to the efforts of our students, will be able to do the same at Benet Academy. If you have any questions about Best Buddies, contact Emma Duffy (‘21), Maggie Schatz (‘21), Brinkley Douglas (‘23), or Mrs. Bedore.