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April 9, 2015

Best Buddies Program Offers Opportunities for New Friendships

by Lindsey Taylor

Centennial High School has started a new club called Best Buddies. Best Buddies is an organization that creates opportunities for one on one friendships for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Best Buddies is known around the country, but new to Centennial this year. Thanks to Centennial teacher Amy Westfield and student Samantha (Sammie) Lavin the group got off the ground second semester. The Centinal interviewed Westfield, Lavin,  and other Centennial Alia Kenner, Chris Logue, and Evan Beason.

Amy Westfield
Q: What made you start best buddies?
A: Well, Sammie came to me and asked if I wanted to sponsor Best Buddies, when I learned about it I didn’t hesitate at all. It was something I was definitely interested in, especially with my son Dillion, he was in the special ed program. He passed away and I thought that this was a great way to get involved with kids that remind me of him. I’m happy Sammie came to me and talked to me about this. Sammie is completely the leader of this, she got it up and running on her own.

Sammie Lavin
Q: What made you start Best Buddies?
A: I started it because I didn’t think Centennial High School had enough interaction with kids with disabilities. I went to a camp that showed me how great full kids with disabilities were to have friends. I thought it was a great opportunity for Centennial High School.
Q: Was it hard to start Best Buddies?
A: It was hard because it was new. It was hard to get people interested in the program, and planning different activities and when and what time to have the club was difficult, but it was worth it.

As well as interviewing the leaders and founders of Best Buddies, I also got the chance to interview a few of the kids that participate in Best Buddies to find out their favorite parts of the club and what they exactly do.
Interview with Chris Kenner, best buddy to Anthony Martin.
Q: How do you like best buddies?
A: It’s good. I like the dancing and bingo
Q:What do you do?
A: We take a lot of pictures.

Interview with Evan Beason, best buddy to Nick Taylor
Q:What’s your favorite part? Is it a good experience?
A: I like video games, I like the food, the games and the pictures.

Interview with Alia Kenner, best buddy with Sammie Lavin
Q: What do you like to do? What all did you do with Sammie?
A: I love it, I love hanging out. We went to Zas, played wii, did nails. I like hanging out with Sammie. My favorite part at the meetings and the parties is the dancing.

Sammie Lavin took terms into her own hands and fundraiser money for the club to get different materials and food to make it happen. She asked her family and friends for different donations. If you would like to donate money to Best Buddies, reply to this post and we will make that happen!

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