Best Buddies is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by providing opportunities for one-to-one friendships and integrated employment.
Founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant, international organization that has grown from one original chapter to more than 1,400 college, high school and middle school campuses across the country and internationally. Best Buddies programs engage participants in each of the 50 United States. We have accredited international programs on six continents with additional country programs under active development.
Our six formal programs – Best Buddies Citizens, Colleges, e-Buddies®, High Schools, Jobs and Middle Schools – will positively impact more than 400,000 individuals this year. Best Buddies also is systematically implementing our 2010 initiative that will witness the organization's continued significant growth, both domestically and overseas. Best Buddies volunteers annually contribute services to the community that equate to more than $70 million USD.
Even though Best Buddies has advanced tremendously in our short existence, many areas of the country and many regions of the world still lack programs to help people with intellectual disabilities become part of mainstream society. Our goal is to continue expanding nationwide and at the local community level, while more broadly engaging the global community through our programs.
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.