Club Corner: Best Buddies and Key Club


Courtesy of Yorktown Best Buddies on Instagram

The Yorktown Best Buddies Club

Molly Kaplow, Sentry Staff Reporter

There are many ways to get involved with your school and your community. Fortunately at our school, you can do both simultaneously. Clubs such as Key Club and Best Buddies give students opportunities to work together for the good of the community.

Best Buddies focuses on the importance of friendships between those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and those without. 

“On top of [creating friendships], [Best Buddies] is building a community where everyone feels safe and welcome … that’s what we really strive for,” senior and Co-President Will McClennan said. 

Many students are attracted to the clubs’ values. With over 150 members, McLennan and Co-President, senior Sofie Dalton, have a lot on their plates.

“On paper, we are the biggest club at Yorktown. I like to stress that one. The Friendship Walk, one of our bigger events in DC, had 140 people. Sofie and I run a pretty big ship,” McClennan said.

It can be overwhelming to lead a group of almost 200 people. To accommodate the large number of members, McClennan and Dalton are assisted by fellow participants of the club.

“I am the social media manager. I basically just run the Instagram and help promote the club … I like my position because it is a really great feeling to get to represent Best Buddies,” junior Kate Schwab said.

Similar to Best Buddies, Key Club provides services beyond school walls. 

“I wanted to lead a volunteering club that emphasizes the importance of giving back to our community. I hope that members see that [through] writing letters to children in hospitals, making paracords bracelets for first responders and tying fleece blankets together for homeless shelters, that there is more to life than immediate self-gain. The generosity of others contributed to the position you are in today. I want members to keep that cycle of love and gratitude going through service projects that make the days of the recipients,” Galilee Ambellu, leader of Key Club, said. 

In support of the community, Key Club members organize and participate in bake sales, potlucks and gift-giving projects for those in need. 

The work of the Key Club extends beyond high school students. They hope to extend the importance of community service to younger Arlington Public Schools (APS) students.

 “I want to organize events with Discovery [Elementary School] and Williamsburg [Middle School] so by the time the students enter high school they are aware of what the club does and have already participated in a couple of events,” Ambellu said.

Through participation in these clubs, members come to realize that by giving to others, there is a great gain to oneself. 

“I not only get to give back to my community by participating in the events, but also start this chain of kindness that will remain with Yorktown for years to come,” Ambellu said. 

Schwab, of Best Buddies, also recognizes the value of community service and its positive effect on everyone.

“I love the message that Best Buddies promotes. Being a part of this club has made me so much more comfortable making new friends, and I want it to be an easy way for others to make friends, because friendships are so important, and high school is so much easier when you have awesome friends to spend it with,” Schwab said. 

Our students are fortunate to have many opportunities to make a positive effect on the county.