NewsPinellas County


Brag Book: Calvary Christian student proves kindness matters

Calvary Christian High School
Calvary Christian High School
Posted at 5:37 AM, May 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-13 08:58:07-04

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Riley Smith is a football star at Calvary Christian High School in Clearwater. But his biggest fans don't care anything about how many plays he makes, just that he makes time for them.

Smith started a Best Buddies chapter at his school. Best Buddies is a national program that creates friendship opportunities for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. His classmates quickly got on board with the idea and the program grew.

Calvary Christian High School

The students meet with their "buddies" on a regular basis for fun activities like bowling and kick ball. They also get together just to talk and hang out. Smith told ABC Action News he learns a lot from his new friendships.

“They've taught me to be grateful and to just like, enjoy life while you have it. And don't take anything for granted,” explained Smith.

Calvary Christian High School

The Best Buddies Friendship walk is taking place on Saturday at Raymond James Stadium. Since 2009, more than 150,000 participants in 60 cities have walked to raise awareness for inclusion, friendship, leadership development and integrated job opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It's open to the public and starts at 8:30 a.m.