Best Buddies Assembly & Fundraiser
By Angela Mayes, ’20
Ms. Delorenzo, our school psychologist, spoke about her experience working with children with autism. In addition to being our school psychologist, Ms. Delorenzo holds a BS in Elementary and Special Education. Jeff Calnan, our Best Buddies Program Manager, then spoke about how Best Buddies can change the lives of high school students with disabilities. When Jeff was finished speaking he introduced a video of a Best Buddies ambassador, Jack Mayor. Jack told us how lonely he was before he met his best friend through the Best Buddies program.
Our last speaker, Leah Humphreys, one of our seniors, spoke about her life and experiences. She touched upon the use of the ‘r-word’ and informed our community that the word is never okay to use. She talked about bad habits and forgiveness, saying, “I understand that habits are not always easy to break… I’m human, I have habits just like the rest of us. I can forgive someone who simply does not understand the history of the word, the use of it, how it makes others feel. This is ignorance, I can forgive ignorance. Though, there comes a point when ignorance becomes ignoring… and that is oh so much harder to forgive.”
She also spoke about her younger brother, Timmy, who has autism. She told us how proud she was to be his big sister and that she would never change anything about him. She mentioned the importance of speaking up about the use of the r-word as well, saying, “Speak up for the people who want to and cannot…Speech is such a beautiful, incredible thing. Please, try not to take it for granted. Use your ability to speak with care. You can say anything you want, but why choose to say something so hurtful, so painful to so many people?”
Leah then introduced our next video, a simulation of how one person with autism might experience an event that happens in other people’s daily lives.