Prep Students form Best Buddies’ Chapter on Campus

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Via: @tpbestbuddies

Myka Wenzel

   Best Buddies is a new club at Tampa Prep started by the co-presidents, Jake Bennati and Alyssa Williams, and the club’s advisor, Brain Sarkozy that hopes to empower and uplift people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

   “Best Buddies is an international organization whose mission is to establish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Bennati. 

   Anyone is free to join, and the club meets in person on D-day where C-day people can zoom in online. The club has had difficulty getting numbers and organizing because of the hybrid schedule, and has been figuring out how to do in person activities. 

   “In general, clubs have had it tough to have events that students can participate in. The hybrid schedule is definitely hurting it. It’s been hard to get organized, but we hope to be able to do more things in person,” said Sarkozy. 

   In the meantime, the club has had two meetings. So far they have been introducing what best buddies is, what it means to be a member of best buddies, and registering online as members of best buddies. 

   “All this involves an introduction about what Best Buddies is and their goal. Then you create a profile for the club,” said Bennati

   While the beginning of this club has been moving slow, the club hopes that soon they’ll be able to expand what they can do beyond the zoom room.   

 “We’re hoping we can zoom with students from other schools or some people with intellectual and developmental disabilities so we can have some exposure and understand how to behave in that situation,” said Bennati. 

   Although there isn’t much going on in the club right now, there are plans for the future. Best Buddies is attempting to organize a friendship walk on May 8th. 

   “It’s a fundraiser in support of students or people with developmental disabilities,” said Sarkozy.

    It’s going to be the first in person event since COVID-19. Everyone should consider joining Best Buddies if they are at all interested. 

   “I joined Best Buddies because I love the idea of becoming friends with people who have developmental disabilities. I would recommend others to join Best Buddies because it’s an amazing cause,” said junior Sara Bohacek.