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Best Buddies Pennsylvania, a state affiliate of Best Buddies International, Inc., is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by providing opportunities for one-to-one friendships.
Best Buddies Pennsylvania offers four of the six formal Best Buddies programs: Best Buddies Middle Schools, Best Buddies High Schools, Best Buddies Colleges, and e-Buddies.
Best Buddies Colleges
Best Buddies Colleges pairs people with intellectual disabilities in one-to-one friendships with college students. In the past, individuals with intellectual disabilities have not had the opportunity to have friends outside of their own environment. By becoming a College Buddy, volunteers offer a Peer Buddy the chance to explore a new way of life. College chapters have grown from one single chapter at Georgetown to active chapters on more than 425 campuses worldwide.
Best Buddies High Schools
Since 1993, Best Buddies High Schools has paired students with intellectual disabilities in one-to-one friendships with high school students. By introducing Best Buddies into public and private high schools, participants are crossing the invisible line that too often separates those with disabilities from those without. Today, Best Buddies boasts more than 900 high school chapters worldwide.
Best Buddies Middle Schools
In today's middle schools, students with intellectual disabilities often enter the same building and walk the same hallways as their peers, but they are left out of social activities. Started in 2001, Best Buddies Middle Schools is already active on 145 middle school campuses pairing students with intellectual disabilities in one-to-one friendships.
e-Buddies is an e-mail pen pal program for people with an intellectual disability of all ages (10 years old and up) and peer volunteers from across the United States and around the globe. e-Buddies is a fun and safe way to make a new friend in a secure online setting, and is available to anyone who has an e-mail address. e-Buddies can also be a great teaching tool for a special education classroom that can help teach social skills, as well as literacy and computer skills. Joining e-Buddies is quick and easy. Simply visit www.ebuddies.org to read more and to complete the online application.