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Best Buddies History
 

Best Buddies began in 1989 while founder Anthony K. Shriver was a student at Georgetown University. He and a group of friends discussed the idea of channeling the untapped capacity for service many college students possess in a specific direction: toward people with mental retardation. That year 52 Georgetown students and 52 people with disabilities from the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Institute became friends.

 
The friendships were a hit, and in 1989 Best Buddies was incorporated as a national non-profit organization expanding to 33 colleges. Best Buddies International currently boasts over 235 chapters throughout the United States, Canada, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, Ireland, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and Sweden with more than 50,000 participants worldwide. Programs are now developing in Brazil, Guatemala, Mexico and Turkey and is growing more each day.  
                         
    Best Buddies has continued to grow and has adopted three new programs - Best Buddies Citizens, Best Buddies High Schools, and Best Buddies Jobs. Best Buddies Colleges continues to be the largest program. It is the first unified, international, recreational and social program that pairs individuals with mental retardation and college students in one-to-one friendships. Best Buddies provides mutually enriching relationships for all participants.    
                           
Best Buddies at MIT
                           
     

Best Buddies history at MIT dates back to the academic year of 2000-2001 when it was initiated into the school, adding to the already huge Best Buddies participation around the Boston area. The chapter has been making huge efforts at making this program a bigger part of MIT and has so far successfully made dozens of matches, and hopefully many more to come!

Each year, student applicants are selected and paired in one-to-one friendships with buddies. Friendships are monitored by MIT Best Buddies and the Massachusetts headquarters of Best Buddies. Students are expected to make phone calls and chat with their Buddies every other week and, if logistically possible, take their Buddies out individually (the nature of which is planned by the individual pairs). There are two group events per semester that is mandatory for students to attend.