Best Buddies hosts annual Spread the Word to End the Word assembly

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The annual Best Buddies Spread the Word to End the Word assembly took place in the black box theater March 11. Best Buddies is an international organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs). Freshmen were invited to attend an assembly hosted by the school’s chapter of Best Buddies aimed to raise awareness for the cause and to help stop the use of the “r-word” in casual conversation. 

As President and Vice President, respectively, senior Alex Neuman and sophomore Irene John began the ceremony with an opening statement explaining the mission and importance of Best Buddies. (Photo/Benjamin Huberman)
Broward County Best Buddies program manager Tara Moras was the first speaker. She discussed ways for students to get involved with Best Buddies and invited them to join the Friendship Walk, held annually in April, to support inclusion for people with IDDs. (Photo/Alexandra Stahlschmidt)
Regional Special Olympics director Mark Thompson spoke about the importance of activism in athletics. Best Buddies works directly with the Special Olympics to offer people with IDDs a chance to live out their Olympic dreams. Athletes can compete amongst each other on a local level at the regional games held annually in March. (Photo/Alexandra Stahlschmidt)
Best Buddies ambassador Melanie Young spoke about her experience with the organization and all that it has done for her. She discussed how after facing years of discrimination and bullying from family, friends and peers because of her disability, Best Buddies helped her realize how valued and appreciated she was. Now, she travels around the region as an ambassador to ensure that no child experiences what she did. (Photo/Zoe Horowitz)
Towards the end of the assembly, there was a Q&A session where speakers took questions directly from the audience. (Photo/Zoe Horowitz)
After the assembly, the speakers posed with club officers for a picture. Overall, the assembly was a success and left speakers, members and the audience with a lasting impression. (Photo/Tara Moras)

Irene is a sophomore at American Heritage who is entering her first year as a staff member for the Patriot Post. She loves reading (practically anything she can manage to get her hands on), watching movies, volunteering and listening to music. Her passion for writing started early at the age of 8 and she has been involved in both creative writing and journalism since then. Other than being in newspaper she is involved in a lot of different clubs at Heritage such as Best Buddies, Key Club, HOSA, UNICEF, Amnesty International and more.

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