The Buddy Program Winter Ball: A Night to Remember

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Devin Reese ’18 takes Rachel Kutcher for a spin on the dance floor!

The Buddy Program held its annual “Winter Ball” on the evening of December 5 in the Reid Campus Ballroom, and what an evening it was! The energy in the room was high as Whitman and community buddies alike took to the dance floor to dance and show off their best moves.

As the program intern, I could not have been happier with how the Winter Ball went.  Seeing the smile on Rachel’s face as Devin spun her around to the tune of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” was absolutely wonderful, as was watching my previous buddy Jacob jamming with his buddy Michael as they chose music to play. Other highlights of the evening included the formation of an enormous conga-line, great food, and classy pictures.

The Fall 2014 Buddy Program crew!

The Fall 2014 Buddy Program crew!

When I came to Whitman, I never knew that I would have the opportunity to develop such a unique set of friendships with the local members of the community. My work with all of our community members continues to teach me so much about the unique talents and capabilities that individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities have to offer us, as well as how much we can learn from their outlooks on life. As I reflect back on IMG_5410[1]my first semester running the program, I can see just how much I have grown from my experience, and am certain that I will continue to grow as we enter a new semester in January. 

Winter Break Whitties Helping Whitties

We have a series of Whitties helping Whitties events coming up in January and we want you to attend!These events will be a great opportunity to meet fellow Whitman students, alumni, parents, and even job recruiters!

If interested please click on the links below for more information and to RSVP for your event. Feel free to email us at sec_info@whitman.edu with any questions!

Jan. 5 – Seattle
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Jan. 6 – Portland
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Jan. 7 – San Fransico
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Jan. 8 – Bellevue
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A Night of Memories

Something that first started as an idea soon became a reality. On November 12th, the Whitman Mentor Program hosted its first annual Family Dinner at Greenpark Elementary School.

Families and Mentors enjoy  a nice dinner

Families and Mentors enjoy a nice dinner

This event helped bridge both mentors and their mentee’s family to connect with one another through a delicious meal and a fun activity. Mentors had the chance to talk and know more about their mentee’s family. As a fun activity, mentees and mentors decorated leaves and turkey cookies.

Kids Decorate Leaves and Turkeys

Kids Decorate Leaves and Turkey Cookies

One mentor reflected on her experience and said “Not only did it make me appreciate what I have a lot more, it helped me understand my mentee’s background and her struggles and it made me want to be an even better mentor for her.”

This event would not have been a great success without the help and support of a few amazing women. I would like to give a huge shout out to Barbara Thatcher, Intervention Specialist at Greenpark Elementary School, for all her work and dedication to this event. Big thanks to Susan Prudente, our supervisor, for believing in this idea and to Rina Wulfing, Mentor Program Intern, for all the support in making this a successful event.

On a last note, I am grateful to say that prior to Thanksgiving Break, we were granted with our request of $495 from the Associated Students of Whitman College (ASWC) the Service Learning Organization (SOL) Fund in order to continue with this event in the other five elementary schools.

 

Jessy Cherry '16 along with her mentee Mireya and her family take a family picture

Jessy Cherry ’16 along with her mentee Mireya and her family take a family picture

Adopt-A-Grandparent Hoedown 2014

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Howdy! The AAG Hoedown this past Saturday went splendidly! We were lucky to have Brenda Jones and her team of dancers lead grandparents and Whitman grandkids in line dancing. Grandkids were eager to get up and dance routines for their grandparents. While not dancing, AAG grandparents and grandkids enjoyed eating cookies and socializing.

I was so impressed by AAG volunteers’ willingness to get up in front of grandparents and Odd Fellows’ staff to dance.  I am so lucky to be working with some outstanding volunteers this year!

I would like to give a big thanks to Brenda and her team for teaching and leading line dance routines for yet another AAG Hoedown! Also a big shout out to the Whitman women’s volleyball team who helped with the event and participated in all of the

283dances. You are awesome! Thank you Abby Juhasz for taking photos throughout the Hoedown as wonderful souvenirs of this event!