Cleveland “Best Buddies” Named Outstanding New Mexico Chapter

Cleveland "Best Buddies" Named Outstanding State Chapter
Posted on 05/26/2017
Best Buddies at RRHS board meetingFor the second straight year, the Cleveland High School "Best Buddies" program has been named New Mexico's Most Outstanding State Chapter.  Best Buddies New Mexico has also announced that the CHS program is a finalist for International Best Buddies Chapter of the Year.  The winner of this award will be announced in July. 

The state recognition celebrates Cleveland's dedication to including students of all abilities in every aspect of student life.  When you go to Cleveland High School, you often see students with disabilities in the halls, on the sports field, and elsewhere right beside their non-disabled peers. It’s all part of a deliberate effort to bridge the gaps among students by minimizing differences and including individuals who have disabilities in classes and activities.

Cleveland High Best BuddiesSpearheading this effort is Cleveland High’s Best Buddies Chapter, known as “Storm Buddies.” Their efforts to create a culture that accepts everyone for who they are and spreads awareness and integration into the community have now been recognized for two straight years at the state level. 

Sponsor David Holland says, “Our goal is to … help end isolation when it comes to individuals who have disabilities. Our program focuses on enhancing the lives with individuals who have disabilities by providing opportunities for one to one friendships, integrated employment and leadership with individuals who have intellect or developmental disabilities. It really is a program designed to bridge the gap . . .  "Storm Buddies" has transformed the culture and community h
CHS stormettesere at CHS, by ending the separation between individuals who have disabilities and don't have disabilities."

One example is shown in the photo at left.  Best Buddies member Tiana, in silver, regularly performed with the Cleveland High Dance Team, the Stormettes.  Tiana graduated from CHS this year.