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Best Buddies: Fostering Inclusion and Building Friendships

Bro. Jack Ventura, SM, Ministry Lead of MFEP and Director of Mission Integration at Chaminade-Madonna College Preparatory, Hollywood, FL, sends us this update.

 

Two of the goals of the Global Impact on Education are:

● Place the value and dignity of the Human Person at the center of every formal and informal education process.

● Educate others and ourselves to welcome all, especially opening to the most Vulnerable and Marginalized.

Chaminade-Madonna is proud to offer a variety of clubs and organizations to promote student engagement and learning outside the classroom, allowing them to experience the dignity of the human person and assist the vulnerable and marginalized.

On Tuesday, February 13, Best Buddies club members filled Valentine’s Day boxes for their Buddies at The Quest Center located in Hollywood, Florida. Club officers delivered and distributed 45 boxes containing candy, stickers, and puzzles to show how much they appreciate their Buddies, especially on Valentine’s Day.

Best Buddies International is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical, and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Ms. Guerrero, Mathematics Department Faculty, has been the Best Buddies Moderator for three years. She shared that “Best Buddies is a student-run club, which pairs Chaminade-Madonna students with intellectually and developmentally disabled students from The Quest Center. The club helps create an inclusive school climate for all students and a community culture of acceptance.” Students involved in Best Buddies display Characteristics of Marianist Education by fostering inclusion and setting the example to Educate for Service, Justice, and Peace. Club members create lifelong friendships, spread kindness, and treat everyone equally.

Throughout the year, Best Buddies hosts seasonal events such as Boo Bash, Jolly Jamboree, and the Easter Eggstravaganza, along with additional events held at The Quest Center. Club members participate in events, attend club meetings, and fundraise for the Friendship Walk. The Friendship Walk will occur on Saturday, April 27, at Nova Southeastern University.

Sofia Lafferty ‘24 has been in Best Buddies since her freshman year and is one of the club officers. She said, “Best Buddies teaches the importance of inclusion, especially regarding those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, because everyone deserves to be treated equally. I like being involved in Best Buddies because the message that it promotes is so amazing and something that everyone should advocate for. It is the best feeling seeing our buddies from The Quest Center filled with joy whenever they come to our school.” Isabella B. ‘25 encourages fellow Lions to join Best Buddies “not only because helping people feels rewarding but because it leaves a good impact and legacy in our community.”

 



 

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Dear Jack and Best Buddies students...great job! I'm proud of you. Helping others, especially those who are in some way challenged in life, is living the Gospel. THANKS!

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Steven O'Neil
Steven O'Neil
Mar 11

Sounds like a very good program, Jack! Thanks for sharing.🎗️

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