Seven bowling lanes were filled with SuperFriends Club students celebrating friendship at Saddleback Lanes in Mission Viejo. More than 60 students came to become better acquainted with other students with physical and/or developmental disabilities.
This was the first event of the semester that SuperFriends organized on Thursday, Jan. 29. The club has been struggling to get students to join and volunteer.
“This is my first time at a SuperFriends event,” said Matt Kulick, 19, film and computer science. “I heard about this from my math teacher.” He was ecstatic during his game. The casual onlooker would have assumed he was winning. “No, I am not,” Kulick said. “My classmates are doing better than me, I’m just having a great time.”
Associate Student Government and members from campus clubs such as Appreciation of Pilipino-American Culture and California Nursing Students Association, all came to show their support.
Tess Esquivel, 18, recreational manager and this event’s organizer, was the busiest and most excited of all.
“They got a lot of people to show up, I think more than they expected,” said Oliver Yu, 22, business.
Esquivel got involved in the organization due to an eye-opening experience related to a nurse tending to Esquivel’s mother, diagnosed with two different forms of cardiovascular disease.
“A nurse came in after she already clocked out. She spent three hours just talking to my Mom,” Esquivel said. “She didn’t have to be there, but it was an emotional reward between her and my Mom.”
SuperFriends, formerly known as Best Buddies, is an educational program around the country for students living with disabilities. Their club focuses more on the social aspect of education in life. Planned trips to Disneyland, ballparks, Halloween parties, bonfires, karaoke and movie nights are just some of the ways students keep entertained.
Esquivez applies a quote by Martina Navratilova to her life and the club’s vision, “Disability is a matter of perception. If you can do just one thing well, you’re needed by someone.”
She reiterated why people choose to volunteer, saying it was about supporting one another through friendship.
“A lot of times we think we volunteer because we are making others lives easier,” said Esquivel, “but it is our own lives that are made easier, by satisfying our inner needs.”
For all those interested in volunteering, stop by the program’s classroom on the third floor the Library, Room 321I.
The SuperFriends Club hopes to organize a kayaking adventure for the entire Saddleback community. For more information, contact Tess Esquivel at firstname.lastname@example.org.