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Best Buddies students hold plaque

Willow Canyon Best Buddies Club Named Top Overall Chapter

The Willow Canyon High School Best Buddies Club was selected as the 2023-2024 Top Overall School Chapter. 

The Best Buddies program is a national organization that builds one-to-one friendships between people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities, offering social interactions while improving the quality of life and level of inclusion. Through their participation, students form meaningful connections with their peers, gain self-confidence and self-esteem, and share interests, experiences and activities that many other individuals enjoy.

The Best Buddies Club began back in 2015 with support from sponsor Christine Cook who teaches Special Education at Willow Canyon High School.   The chapter at Willow Canyon has 30 members and was chosen as the top chapter for their participation at state-wide events, leadership involvement at chapter training days, fundraising efforts and for going above and beyond to support students at Willow Canyon.

Chapter highlights from the past year include a Holiday ornament fundraiser, Homecoming, Prom, Best Buddies Friendship Ball and the Best Buddies Walk at Kiwanis Park where the club raised $2,000 to support the efforts.  Additionally, Kaydence Kautman who serves as the Best Buddies Secretary, attended the Best Buddies Leadership conference at Indiana University where she was able to learn beneficial leadership skills and built a club toolkit to implement at Willow Canyon in order to support a successful chapter.

“The club successfully held the required monthly activities on their campus and really showed that they put in a great effort to ensure that all the one-to-one friendships that were established were always supported,” shared Nicole Paxton, Best Buddies Director of Programs.  “It is clear to us that the presence of the Willow Canyon Best Buddies club is well supported on their campus.”

Due to their dedication in Arizona, the group was nominated for the Best Buddies International Outstanding Chapter of the Year Award.  The recipient will be selected and honored at the annual conference held in Indiana in July. 


Tags: District News, Willow Canyon News