By Anali Frias
Trevecca’s Best Buddies club is heading into its’ eighth year, led by senior special education major Morgan McCranie.
There will be two informational meetings Monday, Sept. 19t at 12:30 p.m. and Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 1:30 p.m., both in the CLCS fireside room.
Members are a part of The Best Buddies’ Citizens Program, which matches an adult with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in a one-to-one friendship with a peer without a disability. This buddy pair develops a friendship like any other and promotes a more inclusive world for adults with and without disabilities.
Best Buddies’ mission is “To change lives by building one-to-one friendships between people with disabilities and those without.”
Most of the buddies involved do not attend college, so the program is a great way for members to be social and make friends.
The club kicks off with a match party, where club members mingle and play games. Matches are made and friendships are born.
“You just meet everybody and matches are made mostly based on relationships and who hits it off well,” McCranie said.
McCranie has been involved with the club since her freshman year, and has had the same buddy, Allea, for five years.
Best Buddies is in need for more peer buddies this year, as most of last year’s students graduated. The club is hopeful more underclassman will join at this year’s Club Rush.
Sandra Habib, a sophomore at Trevecca, met her buddy Jason at last year’s match party.
“Last year, me and Jason played this game together and it was so funny. He said, ‘I want Sandra to be my buddy,’ and that’s how we became buddies!” Habib said.
As part of the club, peer buddies are required to contact their buddy once a week and hangout twice a week, though they are not limited to these requirements.
“It’s different for every buddy. Typically, me and Allea hang out more than two times a week. We text everyday. We love to go out to eat andgo to movies.” McCrainie said. “It’s just the typical things I would do with my friends.”
Habib and Jason hang out as much as they can. She likes to do activities based on what he likes.
“Jason loves plays and musicals. When Trevecca has a play going on, I try to bring him. He plays baseball so I’m going to one of his baseball games too. He loves sports” said Habib.
Every year, Best Buddies has a prom for all of the schools involved with the program in Nashville.
“We both love getting our nails done every year before prom. We have a tradition of going to get our nails done and then having a sleepover, and the next day we’ll get ready to go to prom,” said McCranie.
Trevecca students who participate are just as impacted as their buddies.
“Best Buddies has taught me a lot and I have gained so much,” Habib said. “You may feel awkward at first, but if you’re respectful and if you just want to make friends than this is where you should be.”
For more information on joining, contact Morgan McCrainie at msmccranie@Trevecca.edu.
For more information on Best Buddies, visit www.bestbuddies.org.