Spotlight On: Taryn O’Sullivan

Taryn O'Sullivan '18 brings a new all inclusive club to HHS: Best Buddies.

One of the most important aspects of a high school is a sense of community within the students. One student recognized a lack of this sense of community that includes students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She took it upon herself to create a group within Holyoke High that includes all students.

Taryn O’Sullivan is a senior this year at Holyoke High School. She’s a very active member in our school community, and has accumulated many achievements since entering the high school as a freshman. She is an AP student, as well as a 3 season athlete, and the chapter president of the new formed club here at HHS: Best Buddies. Taryn is honored to have formed this group.

“I brought best buddies to HHS because I believe students will benefit from this all inclusive community,” said O’Sullivan.

The title “chapter president” comes along with many responsibilities and is something to be proud of. Being a chapter president for Best Buddies means that you are the leader of the club for 1 academic school year. Some of the many duties of chapter presidents include: recruiting new members, selecting “chapter” or club officers, planning and running club meetings, matching peer buddies and buddies in one to one relationships and so much more.

Taryn’s journey to become chapter president for Best Buddies started over the summer before the 2017 school year. She went to Indiana University for a few days for a leadership conference, which brings together leaders with and without disabilities from middle schools, high schools, colleges and communities around the world. This conference provides these leaders with personalized training that develops the leadership skills needed to organize a “chapter” or club within their school or community.

“Best Buddies is important because it allows for all students to represent themselves and show their personality,” said Taryn. “Creating these opportunities for everyone allows for growth in our community and is a step toward a more inclusive society.”

Her main goal is to bring a wider world view to the students of Holyoke High School. She is a great leader and community member and displays excellence in our school.

Best Buddies meetings will be held on Wednesdays after school. Any interested students are welcome and encouraged to attend!