Best Buddies Jobs: Shalonda


I wasn’t sure if anyone would hire me.

Just like most of us, Shalonda wanted to work and earn her own paycheck — but she had good reason to worry that she wouldn’t be able to get a job because of her disability.

In 2013-2014, a staggering 84% of people with developmental disabilities did not have a paid job in the community. A job — and the feeling of purpose, independence, and self-sufficiency it brings — could have been out of reach for Shalonda. But through the Best Buddies Jobs program, she found fulfilling, meaningful, well-paid work, where she knows she’s valued for her contributions. “My co-workers rely on me,” she says.
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Paige and Eleanor: Thankful For Five Years of Friendship


IMG_0678This year marks Paige and Eleanor’s fifth Thanksgiving together. These two friends have made spending time together a part of their holiday tradition, and that’s something these two friends are truly grateful for.

“It just seems natural that we spend Thanksgiving together.”

When Paige and Eleanor were matched through the Best Buddies Citizens program, they really clicked;  therefore, it felt natural for Paige to take Thanksgiving to Eleanor when illness kept Eleanor from traveling to be with her mother one November. Read More…

A&E Network to Premiere New Original Docu-Series ‘Born This Way’ Tuesday, December 8 at 10:00 PM ET/PT


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SERIES OFFERS AN INTIMATE LOOK INTO THE LIVES OF YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN BORN WITH DOWN SYNDROME

A&E PARTNERING WITH BEST BUDDIES INTERNATIONAL TO RAISE AWARENESS AND ENCOURAGE OPPORTUNITES FOR PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

NEW YORK, NY – November 11, 2015 – A&E Network will premiere the new original docu-series “Born This Way,” following a group of seven young adults born with Down syndrome along with their family and friends in Southern California. The six-episode, hour-long series from Bunim-Murray Productions premieres Tuesday, December 8 at 10 PM ET/PT.

Cameras follow the young men and women of “Born This Way,” as they pursue their passions and lifelong dreams, explore friendships, romantic relationships and work, all while defying society’s expectations. In their willingness and courage to openly share their lives, through a lens that is not often shown on television, we learn they have high hopes just like anyone else. The series also gives voice to the parents, allowing them to talk about the joy their son or daughter brings to their family, and the challenges they face in helping them live as independently as possible. Read More…

Maria Shriver and Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom to Return as Honorary Co-Chairs of the 12th Annual Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle


Carmel, CA, Sept. 1, 2015 Best Buddies International, a nonprofit dedicated to creating opportunities for friendship, employment and leadership training for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), is pleased to announce that journalist and activist Maria Shriver and Lieutenant Governor of California Gavin Newsom will return as Honorary Co-Chairs of the 12th Annual Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle. More than 2,000 people are expected to participate in the Challenge – a charity walk, run and ride to benefit Best Buddies International – on September 12. Read More…

If you have ever considered hiring someone with a disability, you NEED to read this mom’s letter


I received this letter from a parent whose son is involved with our Best Buddies Jobs program in Miami Beach. Joni’s message is a strong testament to the determination of our participants to be part of an inclusive workplace that allows them to fulfill their professional goals. Our Jobs staff is dedicated to building strong relationships between people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the companies who hire them.  I challenge every business leader that reads this to consider hiring through Best Buddies Jobs by visiting www.imintohire.org. Are you In To Hire?

Anthony K. Shriver
Founder and Chairman, Best Buddies International

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The 26th Annual Best Buddies International Leadership Conference Packs in Loads of Fun for Student Leaders in Bloomington, Indiana


Presented by C.A. Hartnell

  • Kid Quill, Indiana’s top emcee in 2014 and up-and-coming artist rocks the crowd
  • Barbara Torres, Best Buddies Jobs participant of over 20 years, wins “Best Buddies Jobs Employee of the Year Award”
  • Lauren Potter, Best Buddies Ambassador and Star of the TV show “Glee” wins “Spirit of Courage Award”
  • Jewelry brand ALEX and ANI unveils their new arrow of friendship bangle, which stands for friendship and individuality in which proceeds benefits Best Buddies International
  • More than 2,600 people tuned in to watch the Conference, live streamed

Bloomington, IN (July 22, 2015) – Over 2,100 student leaders, volunteers, and staff from Best Buddies International Website programs around the world participated in the 26th Annual Best Buddies International Leadership Conference: I’M IN presented by C.A. Hartnell, July 17-20 at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. The weekend offered attendees new ideas to share with their chapters’ back home, networking opportunities, and most importantly, lasting friendships.

Indiana University Auditorium Opening Ceremonies | Photo by John David Arroyo, Best Buddies International

Indiana University Auditorium, where over 2,100 people watched the 26th Annual Best Buddies Leadership Conference Opening Ceremonies | Photo by John David Arroyo, Best Buddies International

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Illinois is In To Hire A Diverse Workforce with the Support of Best Buddies Jobs


Chicago Breakfast

On December 9, 2014, City Club President and Best Buddies Illinois Board Member Jay Doherty and Illinois Senate President John Cullerton hosted an I’m In to Hire breakfast to encourage employers to consider hiring individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn spoke about the importance of this movement of workplace inclusion. Senator Cullerton, also a champion of diversity, signed an Illinois Senate Recognition of the Best Buddies I’m In To Hire campaign when it first launched in October, 2014.

Over 70 corporate representatives attended the breakfast, and almost 20 employers in the Chicago area made a commitment to hire people with different abilities. Read More…

a typical son

two of us are tall and the other one of us is short and has Down syndrome

Chicken Corn Chowder for the Blogger's Soul

Thought bubbles of inspiration, attempted humor, and most likely a lot of pictures and music. (WARNING: You are the only one reading this.)

Best Buddies Young Leaders Council

Educate, Engage, Empower.

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