On Saturday, April 29, The College of New Jersey will host the Best Buddies Friendship Walk, bringing a celebration of inclusion to campus with a day full of exercise, music, dancing, and food to enjoy with friends.
Members of the TCNJ community join 40,000 walkers across the country in supporting the walk for inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Through dedicated fundraising efforts, TCNJ’s Best Buddies chapter has raised over $15,000 for the organization, placing them as the top team in the state.
“Best Buddies has opened up so many new friendships and opportunities for me,” Best Buddies president Elizabeth Mancini ’23 said. “My passion has grown for this community and for this organization; it means the world to me.”
The walk at TCNJ is one of three in the state, and is the only one in the central New Jersey area.
TCNJ’s Best Buddies chapter has grown to the biggest in New Jersey and actively works to foster one-to-one connections between students with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities.
In addition to the walk, TCNJ’s Best Buddies chapter supports inclusion on campus by hosting social opportunities for students with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities to chat, snack, and bond.
“The Friendship Walk is our biggest event of the year, but all of our biweekly socials really lead up to that,” said Cameron Bogdanoff ’23, the co-buddy director for Best Buddies, of events such as karaoke nights and a Valentine’s Day dance.
Jess Lazar ’24, vice president of Best Buddies, is excited to see her second walk play out in front of the TCNJ community.
“It’s nice to know that in our chapter, everyone has that same mindset of wanting the world to be a more inclusive place,” she said. “It’s awesome to see that the world around us is starting to value that same mission.”
Follow TCNJ Best Buddies on Instagram at @tcnjbestbuddies.
— Kaitlyn Bonomo ’23