Greeley Central High School: Best Buddies
All anyone really needs is that one true friend that they can trust, that go-to person when times are good, and when times are rough.
Tommy Medina and Xavier Reichel are best friends. They play basketball together and go bowling. They eat pizza. They watch movies. They laugh a lot. they call each other by their respective nicknames: Taco Man and X-Man, which Xavier quickly illustrates by folding his arms over his chest to create the letter "X".
Tommy and Xavier were introduced through an organization called Best Buddies at Greeley Central High School.
"Best Buddies is actually an international non-profit organization that focuses on inclusion of anybody with intellectual and developmental disabilities," said Tommy, who is Chapter President of Best Buddies this year. "It's a really great club where anyone who doesn't have a disability and who does can come together and create bonds and friendships."
Before joining Best Buddies, Tommy said he hadn't really interacted with anyone who had an intellectual or developmental disability.
"It was a little strange at first, but after a couple of meetings, I felt at home. Everyone was so fun to hang out with," Tommy said. "And so it broadened my point of view and perspective."
"We learn about getting friends together," Xavier said. "We include everyone who comes to the meeting."
Xavier and Tommy said the club members eat lunch together on Fridays, do activities together, play sports and just hang out. This year, the club also hosted a film festival with the Arc of Weld County, highlighting videos that feature those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Sometimes, the buddies even go on field trips.
"We went on a trip. We went to the horse ranch with Best Buddies," Xavier said. "You could feed apples to the horse and you could play a game."
These best buddies agree that the club, Best Buddies, is making a difference in the lives of the students who join.
"It brings everyone closer together," Tommy said. "And it also recognizes that our special education students are District 6 students. They want to create friendships."
"Best Buddies, they are your fiends," Xavier said.