Whole-Person Education

Best Buddies

This organization pairs DSHA students with intellectually and  developmentally disabled students from the surrounding communities to create one-to-one friendships. DSHA students help integrate their buddies into the friendships and the societies from which they feel excluded because of their disabilities. DSHA participants develop their own leadership skills through the rewarding way in which they serve the community. In previous years, participants have campaigned to “spread the word to end the word” to promote discontinued use of the “r word.”

Honor, Class of 2021, Shorewood

"Being a part of Best Buddies has given me a different perspective on my life and made me thankful for all of the things I have. It is an all-inclusive club that invites everyone to come and be loved, and is a wonderful place of inclusivity and welcoming."


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Requirements & Fees

A DSHA student may join Best Buddies as a part of a one-to-one friendship or as an associate member.  
  • A one-to-one friendship requires contacting best buddies once each week, attending chapter meetings, and having face-to-face contact with buddies one to two times or more each month.
  • Associate members attend group outings with all of the one-to-one friendship pairs to gain more experience before committing to serving as a best buddy.


Co-curriculars will meet 1-4 times monthly on extended instruction days.

Major Events

  • Each year, Best Buddies members volunteer at St. Coletta Day School’s art auction, ColettaScope, in November.
  • The Best Buddies “Jump for Inclusion” event at Skyzone takes place each fall.
  • The club hosts an annual bake sale, the profits of which benefit the organization.
  • Best Buddies hosts dances and social events throughout the year, one of which is Marquette High School's Best Buddies Christmas Dance, Feliz NaviDance, which is pictured below.
  • Best Buddies members also volunteer at the Best Buddies Friendship Walk in May.

Elizabeth, Class of 2020, Brookfield

It's exciting to be a part of an organization that places such a strong emphasis on friendship: something so simple to most people, but life-changing for individuals often isolated due to intellectual and developmental disabilities. I know that the friends that I have made through Best Buddies will be life-long friends because they have taught me the importance of inclusion and respect.

Divine Savior Holy Angels High School

Sponsored by the Sisters of the Divine Savior
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