This program has made my daughter feel on top of the world

This program has made my daughter feel on top of the world, as a parent, I am so emotional and unable to express just how grateful I am right now!

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10 things I learned from Best Buddies

Eliza Myer and Julie Henshaw created a list of the Top Ten Things they learned from being in Best Buddies.

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Best Buddies changes perspectives

Danielle Lamb attended our leadership conference, when she was Campus Coordinator at Glendon College. As she relates in her letter, the experience changed her perspective on what’s important in life.

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Beth and Heather's story

Beth and Heather met as part of the Wilfrid Laurier chapter, and shared great experiences through the program.

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Dayna and Janice's story

Dayna and Janice met through the Best Buddies chapter at Queen's University. Find out more about their heart-warming friendship.

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Words from our conference participants

During the 14th Annual Leadership and Training Conference in Montreal, Best Buddies asked the participants to explain what Best Buddies means to them.

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Best Buddies at Francis Libermann Catholic High School

Francis Libermann is a high school in Toronto. The Best Buddies program was introduced there during the 2007/08 school year. We received a glowing testimonial from one of the teachers at the school.

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Victoria and Rita's story

Victoria and Rita were students at Madonna Catholic Secondary School in Toronto. They helped start the chapter at their school and it changed their lives.

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Helene's story

As the parent of a young man living with Down Syndrome, I view the Best Buddies program as a true source of discovery and friendship for my child. Thanks to this program, my son has met innumerable university-age people who treat him like a true friend.

En tant que parent d’un jeune homme vivant avec une trisomie 21, je perçois le programme de Vrais Copains comme une véritable source de découverte et d’amitié pour mon enfant. Grâce au programme, mon fils a rencontré d’innombrables personnes d’âge universitaire qui l’ont traité comme ami.

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Maxime’s story

My name is Maxime. I am 24 years old and have a sister, a brother and many friends. I also have a “Buddy” named Éric; I would even consider him another brother. Éric and I share a story of brotherhood and camaraderie.

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Kateryna and Costantino

Kateryna Aksenchuk is a Campus Coordinator of the Ryerson University chapter of Best Buddies. Her buddy Costantino is a 40 year old with intellectual disabilities. They were honoured with the Spirit of Friendship Award at the 2008 Best Buddies Gala.

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Aaron and Seamus

Aaron and Seamus were matched through the Best Buddies program at Dr. Martin LeBoldus in Regina, Saskatchewan

Aaron's parents said, "Every once in a while, a person comes into your life and leaves a lasting impression. For our son Aaron, Seamus Neary is that person."

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Alvin and Alham

Alvin Lee and Alham Fakhry are students at Stephen Lewis Secondary School in Thornhill. The friendship that developed because of their involvement in the Best Buddies program changed both their lives and opened new doors for Alham. They were honoured with the Spirit of Friendship Award at the 2009 Best Buddies Gala.

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Cindy and Erika Frostad

Community Living BC celebrated Community Living Month in October 2008 with screenings of "Freedom to Belong" across the province. Produced by Rachel Schmidt, CLBC's Community Relations Specialist, this documentary follows the stories of people who champion the rights of people with developmental disabilities. Part One tells the story of Cindy and Erika Frostad, a mother and daughter who advocate for inclusive communities.

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"Best Buddies opened doors for my son": Christine Neves

Brandon Neves is involved in the Best Buddies program at Don Mills Collegiate Institute. He and his mother, Christine, attended the Chapters/Indigio "Read All About It" event at Yorkdale mall. Christine expressed her gratitude for the program, and wrote this great letter.

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"Best Buddies is wonderful": Bob Neubauer

Lindsay Neubauer is a Buddy Advocate from the Wilfrid Laurier chapter, taking part in the leadership of the program, helping plan activities and encouraging involvement.

Her father, Bob, provided this great letter about his daughter's involvement.

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"Best Buddies lead me to want to pursue a career in special education"

Alessandro Tiano is the chapter president at Cardinal Carter Catholic High School. In her testimonial, Alessandro describes how the program changed her life, including help define her career path.

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Jess and Whitney's Incredible Friendship

Jessica Doyle is one of the chapter presidents at Banting Memorial High School. Her involvement in Best Buddies helped her realize that the little things can make a huge difference in a person's life, and introduced her to a life-long friend.

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Host Site Coordinator Robert Nutbrown shares his Best Buddies experience

The success of Best Buddies relies on the work of many different groups of people involved in the program. There are the students, teachers, host site coordinators and parents, each with a different perspective about the program. Find out what host site coordinator, Robert Nutbrown from C.R.D.I.T.E.D. Estrie in Sherbrooke, Quebec, had to say regarding his experiences with Best Buddies after an astounding eight years!

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Matti Jeffreys and Nathaniel Vossen

Alvin Matti Jeffreys and Nathaniel Vossen first met at a music festival in Courtenay, British Columbia. The pair were later matched through the Best Buddies program at North Island College and since then their friendship has developed through their shared love of music and, above all, having fun. They were honoured with the Spirit of Friendship Award at the 2010 Best Buddies Gala.

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Candice Doherty

As part of the United Nations’ 2010 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Best Buddies is recognizing one person with a disability who helps us deliver our program.

Candice Doherty is the Administrative Assistant for Best Buddies’ Toronto office, and has been with Best Buddies since 2005, making her the longest serving staff member of Best Buddies Canada.

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Lauren Kolyn

Lauren Kolyn has been involved with McGill University's chapter for a number of years in many different roles, as a student buddy, a member of the chapter leadership team, and then as a Host Site Coordinator.

Through all this, Lauren kept up her friendship with her buddy Andrea.

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Amy and Dave

Amy Griffith and Dave Clarkson met during the 2010 school year through the Best Buddies chapter at Wilfrid Laurier's Brantford campus. Within weeks, the pair were spending lots of time together, as Dave prepared for the Special Olympics and Amy helped him train. They soon become great friends, and the pair received our Spirit of Friendship Award for 2011.

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Lisa and Holly

Lisa and Holly met in September 2008, through the McMaster University Best Buddies chapter. They became fast friends and over four years their friendship developed into a truly life changing experience. Lisa had graduated but the pair will continue to be friends, and important influences in each other's lives. They received the 2012 Spirit of Friendship Award.

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Kiel Torres

Oh my goodness, the Best Buddies International Leadership Conference was probably the most amazing weekend of my life! I learned so many incredible things and met a ton of inspiring, like minded people who were all motivated to make change in the world. We all grew very close and it was difficult to say goodbye to our little international family! Thank you again so much Amy Lynn for inviting us to attend this ConferenceJessica and I are both very excited to share the new ideas we learned with the new Point Grey leadership team!

Cadie MacPherson

As you probably know, I was in Indianapolis this past weekend for the Best
Buddies International Leadership Conference, which was such an amazing
experience! I just wanted to thank you for nominating me to attend! It was
such an honour to be chosen to represent Canada. The whole weekend very
inspiring, motivational and contained a lot of useful information that I
will definitely be taking back to the Campbell chapter. Once again, thank
you so very much!

Jessica Davidson

Words could not describe how fantastic the Best Buddies International Leadership Conference was! It was incredibly motivating and inspiring. I can't thank you enough for nominating me. I really do believe in the cause of best buddies and after meeting all the people I got to see how it really does affect them in a really positive way.

I would really like to help spread the Best Buddies message around. Is there anyway I could discuss best buddies at schools around my area that don't have best buddies? I would really like to be involved with spreading awareness!

Michelle LeBlanc

Not only has best buddies been one of the best, most rewarding programs I've ever been involved in, but this year of working with these amazing kids has inspired me to turn this into a career. In the fall I'm going to be attending school hoping to come out teaching special education! - via Facebook

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Our Mission

To establish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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Best Buddies provides all participants with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a new friend. We have chapters in every province of Canada.

There are several ways that you can help Best Buddies Canada enhance our communities through one-to-one friendships between people with intellectual disabilities and students.

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