Our Best Buddies: The Leaders We Are Looking For


This story as written by Best Buddies Canada participant Stephanie Hamelin, from Quebec, Canada. She answered our theme question: How has Best Buddies helped you become a leader?

First thing I thought while reading the  theme of this week was, “Oh My God ! Leader is a strong word. Am I a leader ?”

A leader for me is someone who is doing outstanding things that will influence people towards the achievement of a goal. Of course, on a day-to-day basis, I’m doing my best to help the cause by trying to improve my buddy’s quality of life, raising money, and opening minds around me. But these are all normal things you do when you care for a friend, so I don’t consider myself as a leader. That’s why, instead of talking about myself, I’ve decided to talk about my leaders in Best Buddies.

Since I’ve been involved with people that have disabilities, you can’t imagine how much I am amazed by what I see every day when sharing their lives. Actually, I truly think they are the leaders we are looking for.

I know a young man, with such an overwhelming imagination, that he is creating his own games, and he’s sharing them, bringing sunshine in the life of his other friends. Every morning, I can’t wait to see the new ideas that had come out of his head to entertain us and make us laugh. And I’m telling you, I’ve never seen someone with such a devotion to his task, and that definitely makes my day.

I’ve seen a group of guys with autism, playing team sports at Special Olympics, and winning with such a wonderful team spirit. I was totally astonished by everybody who has ever attended a team meeting at work and knows how difficult it is to bring a group of people to agree to a common idea and to develop team spirit. But these group of guys with disabilities were able to achieve that, and moreover, they did it with a smile on their face. Wow! They are the example we have to follow.

I’ve met a wonderful woman too, that even if she may need help and support for herself, she is spending part of her week being a volunteer helping others in her community. Moreover, she has been recently nominated volunteer of the year. Being able to overcome your own difficulties in order to help others, isn’t that what we expect from our leaders?

I sincerely believe that my friends are the best leaders our society can have. They give all they have to make our world a better place to live. I would like to thank my leaders for being who they are, and to thank Best Buddies for helping my friends becoming our leaders.

Want to learn more about Best Buddies International? Visit www.bestbuddies.org and get involved, today!

To get involved with our programs in the Canada, visit www.bestbuddies.ca.

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About Best Buddies

Best Buddies® is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

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