Emerson College's student newspaper

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College's student newspaper

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College's student newspaper

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson Best Buddies to host a self-care night on Nov. 18

Photo: Rachel Choi

To kick off Thanksgiving break and the upcoming holiday season, the Emerson chapter of Best Buddies is hosting a self-care night on Nov. 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. in the basement of 172 Tremont. 

Best Buddies International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building one-to-one friendships, securing employment, creating leadership opportunities, and providing inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). According to its website, Best Buddies is “the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with [IDD].” 

Founded by Anthony Kennedy Shriver in 1989, the organization began as a volunteer opportunity for Georgetown University students to help expand opportunities for people with IDD. It later expanded its chapters to middle schools, high schools, and other colleges worldwide. Today, Best Buddies has volunteers and programs across six continents.

At Emerson, the chapter aims to advocate for and include people with IDD through its meetings and events, according to Liliana Amato, president of Emerson Best Buddies and junior visual media arts major. The group meets biweekly on Mondays at 8 p.m. in room 240 in the Little Building.

The self-care night, like most of its meetings and events, is in collaboration with Specialized Housing, Inc. (SHI). SHI is a for-profit company based in Brookline and established in 1983 that supports independent living programs for adults with IDD in Massachusetts and Maine. 

It has 12 community houses in the Boston Metro area (Arlington, Brookline, Cambridge, Newton) and two houses in South Portland, Maine. The community houses are owned by the families or adult residents and allow the members to live independently with the support of SHI’s staff.  

Previous Best Buddies meetings and events include pottery night, movie night, homeless care package night, and its annual Best Buddies Friendship Walk in Schrafft’s City Center. 

“Something I’ve appreciated is making friends through [Best Buddies] and just the value in that. It’s not focused on … some people having [disabilities] and some people not, it’s just a friendship-based thing,” Amato said. 

Saturday’s offerings will include nail polish, face masks, stress toys, coloring books, music, and a special giveaway. There will also be tea and cookies from Insomnia Cookies.

“Our mission [for] the event is just to promote inclusion through a fun activity because we’re inviting the non-Emerson buddies as well,” said Amato.

Amato, who has been involved in Emerson Best Buddies since her freshman year, said the organization is open to anyone, regardless of whether they are disabled or not.

“Best Buddies is for everyone,” said Amato. “Everyone’s included. The point is to get involvement from both communities.” 

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About the Contributor
Hannah Nguyen, News Editor
Hannah Nguyen (she/her) is a junior journalism major from North Wales, Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared in publications like The Boston Globe, North Penn Now and AsAmNews. Outside of writing, she enjoys thrifting and painting her nails. (see: https://linktr.ee/hannahcnguyen)

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