She started her work with special education students back in the third grade and plans to continue to make connections with them as she moves onto the next chapter of her life; Senior Alicia Hayes-Kerr, who will be attending the University of Iowa next year, will continue to be a part of the Best Buddies club at Iowa.
Hayes-Kerr has enjoyed her time in the Best Buddies club over the last few years because she was able “to make a lot of new friends and able to make others feel welcome.”
Hayes-Kerr will enter the Best Buddies club at Iowa with a position already in her hands. She is set to be the events coordinator and membership coordinator for the club. Hayes-Kerr will move up in the ranks of the club and become president her sophomore year. With her experience in Best Buddies already, Hayes-Kerr thinks that will only help her be a better leader.
“I think it [her position] will be very beneficial at the University of Iowa because most of the leaders, like the president, haven’t been in the club for more than a couple years. I think it will make it a stronger program,” Hayes-Kerr said.
A difference between the Best Buddies program at Iowa compared to the one at Kennedy is that the buddies don’t actually attend the university. “We will have more of an interaction with the buddies outside of school than in school and I think that will help build stronger connections,” Hayes-Kerr said.
Some advice Hayes-Kerr had for the new leaders and current members of Kennedy’s Best Buddies club was to plan everything out and make sure that they are committed to their buddies.
“They are your friend. Don’t treat them like a kid or ignore them. Thats what we are doing, making long lasting matches,” Hayes-Kerr said.