The Beatles said it best themselves, “I am gonna try with a little help from my friends” and as this week’s Campus Celebrity, Samara Singer, is taking this motto to heart and spreading friendship and inclusion all over George Mason University’s campus.
Major & Year:
Sophomore, with a major in Social Work and minor in Psychology.
Freshman Year: Best Buddies, Catholic Campus Ministry and through this I found so many volunteer opportunities that still stick with me, also I was apart of Cornerstones, and Hillel the Jewish organization here on campus.
What is Best Buddies?
It’s an international nonprofit organization, that advocates for people with disabilities in particular ID (Intellectual Disabilities). Working around providing these students with disabilities friendship, leadership, and future employment. On campus, we work with the MasonLife program. As Best Buddies we’ll put on events and meetings. The main thing is the Peer Buddy opportunity, where you get matched with a MasonLife student. You get to connect with a student, and meet at the events and connect with them on a personal level. It’s about being a friend!
Samara with Junior Kirschner a MasonLife Student, Lauren Potter actress from Glee, and Cameron Fedora a MasonLife Student and her Buddy.
What sparked your interest with Best Buddies?
I didn’t join until my Senior year of high school, so many of my friends were apart of it but once I had the opportunity to join I found something really amazing. Right away, I became a Peer Buddy and I still keep in contact with my Buddy to this day. Overall, I love helping people and being a friend so Best Buddies was the perfect match. It’s all about spread of mouth, it starts by just telling a friend about it.
How can someone get activity with Best Buddies?
To be in Best Buddies, you have to send in a short application on the Best Buddies website (http://bestbuddies.org). You can apply for separate levels of activity within Best Buddies. Another way, is to email [email protected], with any questions you might have. Although we’re ending a semester, you can still join!
What’s your favorite part about being the President of the GMU Chapter of Best Buddies?
It’s fun overseeing the matches of the Peer Buddies and Buddies, you get to hear the stories of how the matches are going. Also, I love when I run into the Buddies and see how excited they are. It makes me feel so grateful to have a leadership position in something so incredible.
Who’s your biggest hero?
My mom, she had a lot of adversity with her health. Dealing with cancer, and still being so graceful. She enjoyed life, and refused to show pain. No matter what she was still a mother, and there for my sister and I.
Samara and her Mother
Best Advice for Freshman?
Right away try out new things, go to club events. Even if it’s already a couple months into the year go and see what you want to be involved with. As you go you’ll meet friends in other clubs, and although you might not be able to be as activity you can stay friends. Also, it opens doors for employment opportunities and can stick with you even after you graduate.
If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
My favorite song changes every second, but I love The Beatles. Pretty much anything by The Beatles is my favorite, but especially Here Comes the Sun. It’s a happy song, and you’ve gotta surround yourself with happiness.
If you had the opportunity to tell everyone in the world one bit of advice what would you say?
Don’t give up so easily. I’ve learned you are capable of doing more than what you could ever imagine. You think you’d never make it through, but you do. I never thought I’d be able to be the GMU Best Buddies Chapter President, but I’m doing it!
More Info about GMU Best Buddies can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/gmubestbuddies/
A huge thank you to Samara, your kind heart is infectious and the work you are doing with Best Buddies is helping path the road for inclusion, acceptance, and destigmatization for individuals living with disabilities. Best Buddies is one of the first things I got active with here on campus, and your leadership is inspiring.
All photo credits go to Samara Singer.