Hello! My name is Emma and I am a marketing intern at The Paramount Group. I am honored to have been nominated by The Paramount Group as a 2018 Champion of the Year Candidate for Best Buddies. Over the next eight weeks, I will be competing to raise the most awareness and support fundraising for Best Buddies, an organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by creating opportunities for one-to-one friendships, employment and leadership development.
Through interning at The Paramount Group over the last seven months, I was introduced to this amazing cause and the close work that we do with the Best Buddies Organization. Best Buddies is not only prominent through my work community, but also in my personal community of friends, who volunteered with this organization at their high schools in Oak Park and River Forest. Hearing the influence that their buddies had on them and the insight that they have gained through this club has inspired me to gain awareness for this mission.
Best Buddies has chapters in middle schools, high schools and colleges along with adult programs to match students with and without disabilities together. This not only decreases bullying, but also builds lifelong friendships and gives students with disabilities confidence in their communities and schools.
The organization also helps people with IDD secure jobs, allowing them to earn income, pay taxes and independently support themselves. Being able to work and support myself is something that I have taken for granted, and never realized the challenges that arise for people with IDD once they finish school. Through these job programs, Best Buddies develops partnerships with employers, assists with the hiring process and provides ongoing support to the employee and employer.
As a Champion of the Year nominee, I will spend the next eight weeks fundraising for Best Buddies to expand to new schools and companies in an effort to make sure every student and adult in Illinois gets to experience meaningful friendships and jobs. I am asking for your support to help me spread awareness by considering making a donation to my Champion of the Year campaign, and joining me at the Champions Gala on October 19th at Theater on the Lake (tickets here). Thank you so much for your consideration and for more information you can visit bestbuddieschampion.org/Chicago.