A Student Stepping Up: Taryn Leary Best Buddies President

Taryn goes the extra mile to contribute to a wonderful organization

There are many definitions of a leader.  Someone who commands a group, or someone who is followed by others is its most fundamental definition.  The inner workings of a leader are much more complex and intricate.  A real leader sets examples by their actions for the betterment of the group.  A real leader sacrifices their time without asking for praise in return.  Even when situations are challenging and they stand face to face with adversity, real leaders always come out victorious because of their optimistic outlook on life.

Taryn Leary is a senior at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and is the president of the Best Buddies Bloomsburg Chapter.  Her commitment to this non-profit organization is truly inspirational and her work ethic toward Best Buddies is second to none.  Best Buddies is a worldwide non-profit organization that promotes one on one friendships for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Taryn had a childhood family friend with Down syndrome and ever since their relationship she has found herself interested in the field of special education.

Taryn really got started by working with the Special Olympics at an early age and that experience helped her gain perspective in the field.  When Taryn arrived at Bloomsburg as a freshman she took part in the activities fair where she came across the Best Buddies organization.  This sparked her interest because it directly correlated with her major, special education and elementary education.

During her time with Best Buddies at Bloomsburg Taryn has established a special connection with her current buddy of three years.  She often visits her buddy on her off time, which further exemplifies her love for what she does.  She describes it as a friendship that in her mind will certainly last a lifetime.

Taryn has worked her way to the top of the organization previously holding the position of fundraising coordinator while she was a junior.  Her time commitment is unmatched and she looks forward to the opportunity to establish other Best Buddies chapters after her education is complete.

As president Taryn holds specific responsibilities that include leading chapter meetings, overseeing activities and events, but most importantly interviewing and matching buddies.  Her responsibilities are something Taryn takes extreme pride in.  After college Taryn hopes to become a life skills teacher in an elementary or middle school.

Best Buddies is an organization with an already stellar reputation.  When paired with a leader like Taryn who has an unquestionable passion for her field and education, the possibilities are endless

“I always look for the best in everyone,” says Taryn Leary.