2011 Best Buddies International Leadership Conference
The Best Buddies International Leadership Conference brings together top leaders from high school and colleges worldwide to discuss topics on social inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities, leadership, communication, fundraising, and a variety of other topics. Students will experience team-building at its best, be challenged to explore their full potential, tap into their power to motivate and encourage others, and translate awareness into quality friendships between students with and without intellectual disabilities.
In addition, this weekend offers leadership and public speaking training for more than 50 Buddy Ambassadors – young adults with an intellectual or developmental disability who are learning skills to be self-advocates. These participants take part in an intense speech writing session where they explore their creativity and story-telling to share their personal testimonies through a 4-5 minute speech. For many, this may be the first time people have asked – and want to hear! – their story of growing up with a disability. To make this possible, each participant is matched up with a volunteer Speech Coach who works one-on-one with them to help develop, transcribe, and/or support their story. By the end of the weekend, volunteers get to see their Buddy Ambassador share their speech in front of an audience!