As part of the United Nations’ 2010 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Best Buddies is recognizing one person who helps us deliver our program.
Through the years, Best Buddies has undergone a lot of growth and few changes, but since 2005, there has been one friendly and familiar face that has been with Best Buddies throughout.
Candice Doherty is the Administrative Assistant for Best Buddies’ Toronto office, and has been the longest serving staff member of Best Buddies Canada. Candice, who has a disability, is involved in many different aspects of our program, supporting the staff and helping with program growth.
Candice’s major work focuses on administrative support (filing, answering phones, and computer work), but she is also helping to develop the BUILD program (Buddies United In Leadership Development), is designed to encourage people with intellectual disabilities to be self-advocates. As part of this involvement, Candice presented to different schools, including her old high school, Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School in Toronto. She also spoke to all the guests at the annual Best Buddies Gala, telling them about her experience and how Best Buddies has changed her life. At the gala events in the past, Candice has met Burt Reynolds, Ann Margaret and most recently Peter Fonda!
Candice said she likes working with Best Buddies because it keeps her busy and gets her out in the community. “I hadn’t heard about Best Buddies before getting the job, but now that I have, I really like the program,” said Candice. “I’ve also felt more and more included in the team over the years.”
Through her jobs, she’s developed her public speaking skills and has learned to be more confident and independent, instead of just relying on other people and support workers. When Candice is involved in group activities, her confidence really shines and she makes sure she lets people know what is going on, and isn’t afraid to give some orders.
The role with Best Buddies is just one part of her busy life. Candice also acts as a self advocate through Community Living Toronto, organizing and attending different social events, and helping with community awareness meetings. Candice is also involved in different drama programs, including Drama way, through which she is involved in a different production each year. She enjoys these programs because they help her practice her presentation skills and her motor skills.
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