Speed-Friending

This social program helps individuals to develop friendships based on shared interests and passions. The room is set up in a similar format as “Speed-Dating” venues. Each person gets a sheet of adhesive labels with their name typed on it. They circle the room and look at 20 or 30 posters with a title and pictures i.e., Young Adult literature, Sports and Rec, Pet Care/Animals etc. After they put their name stickers on all the posters that interest them they sit down at tables. After icebreaker activities, they are given a list of very concrete questions about themselves and independently or with support, they rotate around tables. Families are later given a list and emails of all students that have similar interests.

After several monthly meetings where large groups break into smaller groups, families, support staff, volunteers and self-advocates who are interested in leading the groups are invited to training. Training is based on concepts of community building, friendship formation and interest-based clubs. Our staff will mentor and encourage this group to take a role in facilitating the small group get-togethers in order to create sustainability.



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