Best Buddies celebrates neurodivergent culture

Junior+Ava+Foster%2C+Senior+Harry+Zalusky%2C+Junior+Cate+Marchialette+and+Sophomore+Maya+Weir+pose+in+front+of+their+booth+at+Prospects+Multicultural+fair.+%28Photo+by+Tessa+Trylovich%29

Junior Ava Foster, Senior Harry Zalusky, Junior Cate Marchialette and Sophomore Maya Weir pose in front of their booth at Prospect’s Multicultural fair. (Photo by Tessa Trylovich)

Tessa Trylovich, Online Associate Editor-in-Chief

Prospect High Schools 2nd Annual Multicultural fair allows students to share their cultures with other students at school. This year they have 23 groups and over 80 students participating.

One of the groups this year is Best Buddies celebrating neurodivergent culture. Junior, Cate Marchialette, who is a member of best buddies, is now in her second year running the stand helping celebrate neurodiversity.

“Not all disabilities you can see when you look at someone because some of them are in the brain, so that’s why we try to celebrate neurodiversity,” Marchialette said.

They found that many people are willing to accept and listen, so this year their main goal is to help destigmatize it and help spread awareness to others.

“It’s very surrounded with inclusion, you know, all people of all abilities both mental and physical,” Marchialette said. 

Marchialette believes that they are definitely more prepared than last year and wants to continue with it especially to help support and represent her sister who has ADHD and autism. 

Junior Ava Foster who is also helping with the stand, joined the club when she met Marchialette. They connected so well because they both have siblings with disabilities.

“Best Buddies is all about having neurotypical people and neurodivergent people do activities together and interact without judgment,” Foster said. 

Celebrating neurodivergent culture really helps people with disabilities form a community of their own. 

Senior Harry Zalusky is part of Best Buddies and URise. This is his first year helping with the stand. In Best Buddies and URise, he helps with the Prospect Perks and he loves the parties that they throw in the hub.

“I like talking to people,” Zalusky said when asked what his favorite part of working the stand is.

While most stands shared food from their culture for others, the neurodivergent stand shared sensory fidgets such as playdoh, gum, headphones, and kinetic sand. Last year they had made stress balls with kids whilst they were talking about the culture but it created quite a mess. So, this year they decided to go a different route and share sensory toys that students can use whenever.

“Even though a lot of the other cultures are from certain parts of the world or certain religions, we just really wanted to make sure that ‘EveryKnight’ was represented,” Marchialette said.