Huskie Spotlight: Best Buddies Show off Their Talents

Best Buddies showed off their talents and skills for the audience Sunday evening in Montgomery Hall. Each buddy got the chance to sing, dance, pose and show some magic tricks for peers and students. During the evening, the whole crew performed the chicken dance and showed off their smiles. Below is information if you would like to get involved or learn more.

President: Kayla Nations

Adviser: Jeff Chan

Year formed: Best Buddies was first founded in 1989 in the country.

Number of members: There are 88 members in the chapter here at NIU, and over 8,000 in Illinois alone.

Taking new members? They are always taking new members. One thing to consider is there are different types of members. A buddy is a members with an intellectual or developmental disability, (IDD). A peer buddy is a college student, without an IDD, that is part of a buddy pair. A buddy pair is a pairing of one buddy and one peer buddy. People can remain matched as a buddy pair for several years. Buddy pairs attend events together, and focus on forming a real, true friendship. An associate member on-matched college student without an IDD, who acts as a fill in if a peer buddy cannot attend an event.

Who can join: Anyone can join in a peer buddy or associate member spot. Our buddies must have an affiliation to Opportunity House. Opportunity House is an agency that provides in home supports, community supports, assisted living, group home accommodations, job training, and recreational activities to individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities around Sycamore and DeKalb. They are our host site, which means people who are involved there have the option of joining our chapter. Each chapter of Best Buddies has at least one host site that their buddies must come from.

Meeting times, location: No specific meeting day, location or time. All announcements are done via email, and all events are scheduled before the start of the semester.

Is the public welcome to attend your meetings or events? Certain events we welcome public, certain ones we do not. This is left to the discretion of the president and e-board.

How is group financed? NIU gives us very little funding, as they serve people from outside of the University community. Nearly all of our funding comes from fundraising we do as members of the chapter throughout the year.

A name and contact info for readers who would like more information: Those interested can reach out to Kayla Nations at