Alexandra in front of the plant wall

From Peer Buddy to President of Best Buddies uOttawa

Discover how Alexandra, President of the Best Buddies club, developed her leadership skills all while supporting a great cause.

During her third year in health sciences, Alexandra felt she could be doing something other than just studying. 

She spoke with her roommate and the two felt that she should get involved on campus, to give her a sense of direction. Inspired by this, Alexandra found herself searching for different ways to give to her community.

One thing caught her attention — the uOttawa Best Buddies chapter. Best Buddies is a non-profit organization that connects uOttawa students (“peer buddies”) with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (“buddies”), creating opportunities for one-to-one friendships and leadership development for the buddies. 

While volunteering, Alexandra was able to not only develop key leadership skills, but also contribute to a cause she believed in through consistent, trust-building interaction with the people around her.  

Alexandra in front of the plant wall

As time went by, Alexandra realized that she wanted to do more for the community she’d been dealing with since 2019. She decided to become president of the uOttawa Best Buddies chapter. As president, she was able to promote activities to both University students and buddies, including cooking, decorating and chair yoga. Even during COVID, when everything was online, her chapter continued to provide quality events via Zoom, for example, trivia nights, magic shows and even virtual tours of zoos. 

Through these events, Best Buddies uOttawa has been able to offer a safe, hospitable space for students to connect with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, fighting stereotypes and misconceptions the latter face every day. 

For Alexandra, community engagement has been an important aspect of her university experience, giving her time to a cause that benefits the greater good. She believes that community engagement can be very beneficial for students — a great way to meet new people, make friends, network and open doors to future opportunities.

 

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