“I am so proud of how the Best Buddies Friendship Walk has grown over the past few years in attendance and through our sponsors who not only support Best Buddies but also help promote the mission of integrated employment,”
According to PDQ Operating Director, Andy Sansone, having Sam on the team has been a win-win for everyone. “Sam is a delightful young man and an important team member on our staff. He is an inspiration and role-model to many people his age with IDD.”
While Sam has been fortunate, there is still much progress to be made in hiring individuals with disabilities. According to a recent Washington Post article, “Most Americans with intellectual or developmental disabilities remain shut out of the workforce, despite changing attitudes and billions of dollars spent on government programs to help them.” The Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) is also sponsoring this year’s event. The organization, in partnership with Best Buddies International and ProjectSEARCH, conducted a study on intellectual and developmental disability employment to be released this spring by i4cp. Their findings reveal nearly three-quarters of employers of people with IDD report a positive experience and, of those, nearly one-third say the experience exceeded their expectations.
Best Buddies is a groundbreaking nonprofit founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, whose mission is to establish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with IDD.
The 5k walk around Gadsden Park begins at 9:30 a.m. with opening ceremonies featuring Best Buddies Ambassadors and Councilman Mike Suarez. Following the walk, participants will enjoy DJ music and dancing, a bounce house, games, activities, raffle prizes, as well as complimentary food and beverages donated by PDQ, PepsiCo and Starbucks.
To learn more about the Best Buddies Friendship Walk, or to register to walk, please visit www.bestbuddiesflorida.org/
About Best Buddies International
Best Buddies® is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant organization that has grown from one original chapter to almost 1,500 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Today, Best Buddies’ seven formal programs – Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies® , Jobs and Ambassadors – engage participants in each of the 50 states and in 50 countries, positively impacting the lives of nearly 700,000 people with and without disabilities around the world. As a result of their involvement with Best Buddies, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities secure rewarding jobs, live on their own, become inspirational leaders, and make lifelong friendships. For more information, please