13 December 2023 Winton '24 Creates Inclusion Through Best Buddies Club

Sadie Winton ’24 is building both community engagement and inclusion through HWS’ Best Buddies club.

A sociology major with a minor in health professions, Sadie Winton ’24 has been a member of the Best Buddies club for all four of her years at HWS and now serves as its president. Under her leadership, the club has connected with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities from the HWS Ontario ARC College Experience Program and the local community, meeting weekly to do various art projects and activities.


Sadie Winton '24, James Mazzarelli '24 and Jonathan Garcia '23 take a photo before the Best Buddies friendship walk.

Last summer, Winton attended a leadership conference sponsored by Best Buddies, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She returned to campus even more committed and eager to increase engagement at HWS.

“It was such a wonderful opportunity to connect and learn from so many like-minded and inspirational individuals,” shares Winton. “The experience reaffirmed my passion for Best Buddies and reinvigorated my desire to advocate for inclusion. I left the conference energized to implement new leadership skills, strategies and programming to the HWS chapter.”

Currently, Winton is working on several club initiatives such as leading a partnership with athletics, encouraging the fan section to be inclusive toward students in the College Experience program and to enrich overall school spirit in all aspects on campus.

In addition, the club recently hosted a “a fantastic opportunity for students to connect and learn a new skill” through a yoga class taught by Ahmed Wise ’24, says Winton.

Best Buddies has also sponsored 3-on-3 and half-court basketball games, a Thanksgiving luncheon and various art projects. On the first Wednesday of every March, Best Buddies club also participates in the “Spread the Word: Inclusion” day.

Associate Professor of Education and club advisor Mary Kelly says Winton is an effective leader and urges more students to participate. “Sadie pays particular attention to promoting inclusion and designing activities and programs that are open to everyone. The energy during club activities is welcoming and upbeat and everyone is engaged. If students are interested in getting involved, please reach out. New club members are always welcome,” says Kelly.

Pictured above, members of the Best Buddies club stop for a photo after playing basketball in the Robert A. Bristol '31 Field House.