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A Brief History

Best Buddies was created when founder Anthony K. Shriver recognised that people with intellectual disabilities lacked opportunities to socialise with their non-disabled peers. Recognising the tremendous volunteer potential of university students, he first inspired his college peers to form friendships with the intellectually disabled.

Since then, believing that friendship was key to building the self-esteem so important for a happy and productive life, he created the non-profit organisation of Best Buddies in 1989.

With Mr. Shriver as the Founder and Chairman of Best Buddies International, the organisation has grown into a leading non-profit entity with increasing international reach across six continents. Today, Best Buddies International offers seven programs: Best Buddies Middle Schools, Best Buddies High Schools, Best Buddies Colleges, Best Buddies Citizens, e-Buddies, Ambassadors and Best Buddies Jobs. This year Best Buddies will positively impact the lives of 700,000 individuals with and without disabilities worldwide.

The organisation is active in each of the 50 United States, and operates accredited international programs in 50 countries around the world. For the most up to date list of our country programs, visit