The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M Aggies guard Tyrece Radford (23) blocks Arkansas Razorbacks guard Tramon Mark (12) during Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)
Free falling
February 20, 2024
Jace LaViolette (17) an Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle celebrating a home run during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
GALLERY: Baseball vs. UIW
February 20, 2024
Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) catches a pop fly during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024 at Blue Bell Park. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Four for four
February 20, 2024
Texas A&M Aggies guard Tyrece Radford (23) blocks Arkansas Razorbacks guard Tramon Mark (12) during Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)
Free falling
February 20, 2024
Jace LaViolette (17) an Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle celebrating a home run during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
GALLERY: Baseball vs. UIW
February 20, 2024
Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) catches a pop fly during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024 at Blue Bell Park. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Four for four
February 20, 2024

Buddy Walk raises awareness

Families and friends gathered to support their loved ones to complete a one-mile walk.
Photo by Allison Bradshaw
Families and friends gathered to support their loved ones to complete a one-mile walk. Photo by Allison Bradshaw

Sunny skies and warm smiles accompanied the 11th-annual Buddy Walk fundraiser, hosted by the Down Syndrome Association of the Brazos Valley.
Families and friends gathered to support their loved ones to complete a one-mile walk to raise awareness about Down syndrome within Bryan-College Station.
DSABV, a non-profit organization that supports families who have children or relatives with Down syndrome, provides educational opportunities and performs advocacy work, said executive director Haley Osborn.
DSABV provides supplemental classes such as math, computer, nutrition, handwriting, sign language and music therapy classes.
“We want them to be as independent as they personally can,” Osborn said. “We just want to give them opportunities and tools that will help them to do that. So that’s what Buddy Walk does.”
Osborn said it’s her goal to reach out and do the best she can to support these families.
“I want them to know that there is a support system for them and there are people to help them in what they need and then also for the kids,” Osborn said.
Jenna Boyd, head volunteer coordinator, is a community health senior with a focus in occupational therapy. She worked with a family over the summer whose child had special needs. She decided it was the career choice for her.
“This would be a job that I would be so happy to come to work every day,” Boyd said. “Yes, there are hard parts of it, but in the end it’s probably one of the most rewarding things you could ever do.”
Boyd said there is much to be learned from spending time with those who are different and hoped the event allowed each family to learn something as well.
“In the end they really teach us a lot as well,” Boyd said. “They just live every day with an open heart and mind and they just want to hug everyone they meet. They really show what it’s like to live. They don’t have judgments about people before they meet them and they just have an open heart.”
Jessica Stem, physical education and kinesiology senior, lived with a family whose youngest daughter has Down syndrome.
“Getting her up every morning was one of my favorite times,” Stem said. “She was always so happy no matter what, never had any tantrums or anything. She was so happy to be with me and it’s so unlike any two year old.”
Stem said she looks forward to the possibility of adopting a child with special needs someday and is grateful for the support DSABV provides.
“I don’t know what that looks like and it seems a little bit overwhelming, but looking at this community here today and seeing that there is a community to support me and my future husband in that and we wouldn’t be alone and that we’ll have other people to turn too,” Stem said.
The DSABV slogan is, “We’re more alike than different.”
“Our dreams and our passion and what we want out of life, they’re all the same,” Osborn said. “No matter what disability you are. They are all the same.”

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