Our first Student Feature Friday this year is sophomore Jack Garvey and I could not think of a better student to start of the year. Multiple people recommended Jack for this segment and after spending a few minutes chatting with him, the reasons for the recommendation are clear. Jack is mature, thoughtful and kind and is already a role model for his peers. He spoke of two main passions: sports and working with Best Buddies. Jack is insatiable when it comes to sports. When asked why he loves sports so much he spoke about having vivid memories of attending his 1st Patriots game against the Bills over Winter Vacation and his 1st Red Sox game with his father in 3rd grade. However, his favorite sport to watch is college football! Jack is interested in all things sports is currently looking forward to continuing track & field during the winter and spring seasons.
Jack is also passionate about working with Best Buddies which “…builds one-to-one friendships between people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), through school and community friendship programs that provide socialization opportunities to help erase the invisible line that often separates students or adults with and without IDD.” (www.Bestbuddies.org) After joining last year he “was hooked” and looks forward to attending the meetings, eating lunch with his Buddies, and participating in the events (basketball clinic, board games and a potential field day in the Spring). Jack is already making a big impact in Best Buddies. One of his teachers stated that, “Jack’s Buddies are always excited to see him, whether it be in the hallways at school or working at Outpost.” Another teacher described Jack as going “above and beyond to include students in everything.” After spending any time with Jack it is clear that his compassion for others will make a significant difference in the community.
Q: You mentioned your favorite thing to do is play sports, listen to sports radio, talk about sports …. anything involved with sports. What is it about sports that fascinates you so much?
A: Sports are a great outlet, they bring me a lot of inspiration and I like the camaraderie that sports provide. Sports are a source of motivation and hope for me. In a world that seems like there are so many things that divide us, sports bring us together and I don’t think anyone can argue with that. For example, after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, the Boston Strong movement began. I also like when I get to watch a game in person, and I get to forget about school and all of my responsibilities because I am so focused on the game.
Q: Can you describe your work with Best Buddies and why you are so passionate about joining this Chapter?
A: Joining Best Buddies is a great way to meet new people and the atmosphere is always happy because everyone is always welcoming at Best Buddies. The goal is to make everyone feel included. There are a lot of good friendships that form and it is nice to be a part of something that is doing a lot of good. It is also an organization that I believe in.
Q: Although you are still planning out what your independent study will look like, why are you interested in this type of learning environment? Why are you interested in creating this different type of class for yourself?
A: The opportunity to take my passion for sports and make it my own little class is really cool. I am grateful to Mr. Calais for suggesting this to me and I am looking forward to working alongside Mr. Bailey, who is my advisor for this adventure of an independent study. Mr. Bailey and I have a sports talk radio show on WHHB 99.9FM and I have learned a lot from him. I am grateful for the opportunities that everyone around me has provided. I would also like to thank Mr Hickey, who goes out of his way to talk sports with me.
Q: What advice do you have for other students who haven’t yet found a club or activity they are passionate about?
A: There really is something for everyone and If you have not found a club or activity that you are passionate about then you could create your own. You could go to a few meetings and give them a try to see if the club is something you are interested in. I was a little nervous the first time I went to Best Buddies but now I look forward to it every month. You never know if you will like something until you try it.