How the DC Best Buddies Walk Gave Me a New Outlook on Life

November 11, 2018
Abigail Kraden

Arlington, Virginia, United States

Class of 2021

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On October 20, my alarm went off at 6:00 AM. After a long week of school, the last thing in the world I wanted to do was get out of my warm bed, but I am so glad that I did.

That Saturday, I participated in the Best Buddies Friendship Walk in DC. Arriving at the venue was like no other experience I had ever had before.  As soon as I entered the area of the walk, the air felt lighter and everyone was happier. There were a plethora of diverse kids dancing and singing and talking to one another like there were no differences between them, allowing me to smile in any direction I glanced.

After taking in the vibe of the festival and donning our matching “Inclusion” shirts, my friends and I lined up for the 5k walk and began our journey through DC. The walk sped by, but even throughout it, people were handing out beads and celebrating every step we took because for them it symbolized a change being made.

By the end of the walk, although I was tired, my energy was still completely with me. I had just participated in something so big that it had changed my perspective on the world. The 5 kilometers I had just walked felt like inches, and my body was filled with joy. So many people had come together to support a common cause, regardless of other differences. They were here to support Best Buddies and make a change.

This experience forever changed me, and I will be sure to come back next year to participate in the walk again. Overall, I simply want to convey that people can and should come together for a common cause and to make a difference, and that doing so truly has an impact on everyone.  Even though you may not have a Best Buddies walk near you or be interested in the cause, find something out there that interests you and turn it into a flaming passion.

Abigail Kraden is a BBG from Northern Region East: Northern Virginia Council who plays field hockey, loves ice cream, and has a labradoodle named Cocoa.

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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