Leaders From Around the World to Unite in the Name of Inclusion at the 25th Annual Best Buddies International Leadership Conference in Bloomington, Indiana, Presented by C.A. Hartnell


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Bloomington, Ind(July 16, 2014)  Summer vacation will hold a special meaning for over 2,000 student leaders, volunteers, and staff from Best Buddies International’s programs around the world, who will participate in the 25th Annual Best Buddies Leadership Conference  presented by C.A. HartnellJuly 25-28 at Indiana University in Bloomington.

Best Buddies is a nonprofit 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).

This year’s conference will prepare the organization’s students leaders to be strong, passionate forerunners on the Journey to Innovation, challenging communities and inspiring the world one person at a time.

“Best Buddies student leaders have been working to change the world for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities for 25 years and it all begins here with this inspiring conference generously supported by C.A. Hartnell,” said David Quilleon, Senior Vice President, Global Mission, State Development & Operations. “The trainings, guest speakers, and educational sessions are the catalyst for this incredible global volunteer movement that is creating communities and schools committed to fully integrating people with IDD.”

The Opening Ceremonies will take place at the Indiana University Auditorium from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. on Friday, July 25, and will include a welcome address from Anthony K. Shriver, Founder and Chairman of Best Buddies International, and the annual Best Buddies International chapter awards. This year’s notables scheduled to attend include Best Buddies Global Sports Ambassador and NBA Cleveland Cavaliers star Kyrie Irving and star of the hit TV show “Glee” Lauren Potter.

The conference will celebrate the incredible impact volunteers with and without IDD are making in the world as a result of their leadership and commitment to the Best Buddies mission. The conference theme will focus on Best Buddies’ innovation over the years and provide conference attendees with an opportunity to network with their peers from states and countries around the world. In addition to interactive education sessions and workshops, conference attendees will have the opportunity to participate in fun, engaging activities such as film screenings, pep rally and the annual end of conference party.

Guest speakers during the event include Dr. Paula Bloom, a practicing clinical psychologist; Heath White, an FBI agent and parent of a child with Down syndrome; Alexandra Mark, registered and licensed dietician/nutritionist; and Sharon Lewis, principal deputy administrator of the Administration for Community Living and Senior Advisor to the HHS Secretary on Disability Policy.

TedTalk-inspired roundtable of learning from a variety of notable speakers will take place with the goal of inspiring our leaders, as well as providing them with concrete ideas to drive our mission forward and continue to innovate when they return to their communities.

The weekend’s festivities will conclude at Closing Ceremonies inside the Indiana University Auditorium, 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Sunday, July 27.

The opening ceremonies and closing ceremonies, as well as the Saturday educational sessions will be streamed live at www.bestbuddies.org/bblc.

ABOUT BEST BUDDIES  INTERNATIONAL:

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. Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant organization that has grown from one original chapter to more than 1,700 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Today, Best Buddies’ eight formal programs — Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies® , Jobs, Ambassadors, and Promoters — engage participants in each of the 50 states and in over 50 countries, positively impacting the lives of more than 800,000 people with and without disabilities around the world. In many cases, as a result of their involvement with Best Buddies, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities secure rewarding jobs, live on their own, become inspirational leaders, and make lifelong friendships. For more information, please visit www.bestbuddies.orgfacebook.com/bestbuddies or twitter.com/bestbuddies.

ABOUT C.A. HARTNELL

C.A. Hartnell is a Las Vegas based author of an award-winning series of four historical fiction chapter books for children eight and older. Her four-book series is set in 1950s Southern California and earned a 2013 Mom’s Choice Silver Award. This award program is globally recognized for sharing excellence in family-friendly media, products, and services.

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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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