I consider myself incredibly fortunate to be a part of many amazing organizations here at USC, but my favorite organization is easily Best Buddies. The Best Buddies chapter at USC is connected to Lanterman High School, a school a few blocks from campus, which is for children with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Those in Best Buddies are paired with a USC student, and we visit our buddies weekly whenever we want and also have organized events. We do themed holiday parties, have sports days with USC teams, and participate in many community events, such as at Spirits in Action and the international Spread the Word to End the Word campaign, but my favorite memories are always the unplanned ones!
The mission behind Best Buddies has always been something that has been very important to me. Our goal is for the buddies to recognize themselves for their abilities and to develop a strong friendship with them—something that I have with Norma. I have been with Norma, my buddy and my inspiration, for almost two years now. Norma is my sunshine, and my experience at USC would not be the same without her. She is the most energetic, happy, loving person I have ever met, and I’m so fortunate to have her in my life. I honestly cannot remember the process of joining Best Buddies, or how I heard about it, but it has been one of the most defining parts of my experience here.
There are so many amazing causes to dedicate yourself to at USC and students that want to make a difference in the world. For you it may be something else, but I strongly encourage finding something that you’re truly passionate about, that you do for no other reason than that it makes you happy!