Centreville High Student Successfully Lobbies for Best Buddies Funding
Centreville High student Patrick lives by the advice, “Be the change you want to see in the world,” a quote by Mahatma Gandhi. As a member of his school’s Best Buddies club for the past four years, he feels the club has dramatically changed his life. Patrick attended the Best Buddies Leadership Conference two years in row, developing the skills to be a Buddy Coordinator. He has worked to develop his public speaking skills through Best Buddies, in partnership with various companies in Northern Virginia. Patrick then used these skills to lead workshops at an international conference in Russia last summer. In January, he spoke to the Commonwealth of Virginia budget committee, requesting additional funds to expand Best Buddies clubs throughout Virginia schools. Based upon Patrick’s testimony, the Commonwealth has budgeted $200,000 to fund Best Buddies clubs statewide. As a student in the FCPS STEP (Secondary Transition to Employment Program), Patrick is still an active member of Best Buddies.