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Meet Danielle, our Buddy Ambassador

Best Buddies Iowa

Danielle Kraayenbrink at BBLC 2012

Danielle and the Iowa Girls hanging with AKS at BBLC 2012
My name is Danielle Kraayenbrink and I am a Buddy Ambassador for Best Buddies Iowa. I just graduated from Waukee High School and am going to be involved at Drake University Best Buddies this fall.

I have Willam’s Syndrome, which means it takes me a little bit longer time to learn and process things, but really I am just like everyone else. Outside of school l I like to text and facebook my friends, go to movies and shop!

Before getting involved with Best Buddies I only had a small group of friends and hung out mostly with my family. That made me feel bored and left out sometimes.

Since getting involved with Best Buddies I have TONS of friends that I can text, call and Facebook with whenever I want, only until 10:00 on a week night of course!

Best Buddies is important to me because I get to go out with friends and do different activities that I wouldn’t have done before, like go out to eat, watch movies and go to the Best Buddies Prom I was even voted prom queen for Waukee Best Buddies. I think it was cool being prom queen. We took a lot pictures and the pictures were really cool.

I have gotten to build more friendships with people through the program and meet people that I can relate with. I have also developed a strong bond with my Best Buddy, Lexi.

She is really fun to be around and she can make me laugh all the time. Without Best Buddies I don’t think Lexi and I would have hung out in the same circle of friends, but now I feel like we are very very close.

Some of my great accomplishments have been to represent Iowa in Washington DC! I met with senators and congressmen to advocate for people with disabilities! But most of all, I am very proud that I got accepted in the Project Search program at Methodist hospital! I was offered a job recently!

If there is anything that you take away from today I hope that it is this...All people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are just like everyone else. They like to have friends, do fun activities and laugh.

Thank you all for listening to me today and I hope that you will come and join us at a Best Buddies event soon!
Support our friendship programs in Iowa: DONATE or VOLUNTEER at Best Buddies today.

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