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Claudia Gupta, President of Best Buddies

Name: Claudia Gupta
Grade: Sophomore
Major: Psychology
Hometown: Hinsdale, Ill.
 
Can you tell me a little about Best Buddies?
Best Buddies is a non-profit organization that pairs up college students with people in the Madison area who have developmental disabilities, and they create a one-on-one friendship. These disabilities include autism, downs syndrome, etc.
 
How did you get involved with the organization?

Last year the club was on a steep decline to the point where there were only ten or so college members. I was doing autism research at the Waisman center when my mentor told me the president's position for the org was open. I went in for the interview and then boom, roasted. Before I knew it I got the position, and with the help of new officers, the club was back in business with over 50 members and counting. It has been an awesome recovery so far.
 
What's the most rewarding part of working for Best Buddies?
My favorite memory was this year in early October when the college buddies and the buddies met each other. Everyone came together and painted banners for the HC parade. Watching everybody hit it off so well makes you really feel like you're doing something. Reading the success stories of our members each month is truly rewarding. It's been amazing watching these friendships grow!
 
Do you have any events coming up?
This month is shaky, but we are hoping to have a candy-gram sale before finals in the spirit of Christmas. "Four for you Glen Coco! You go, Glen Coco." - Mean Girls
 
How can people get involved with Best Buddies?
Email bestbuddiesmadison@gmail.com, follow us on Twitter @BBUW_Madison and we even have a blog www.bestbuddiesmadison.tumblr.com. It is nearly impossible to miss us!

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