With a smile, club president makes everyone feel included

Best Buddies president is the “best buddy” for the job


Photo courtesy of Ida Alvarado

Zain Savage and Ida Alvarado, pictured respectively, are all smiles at last year’s anti-bullying day working the Best Buddies’ booth. Zain, Ida, and many other ‘buddies’ gather signatures to stop bullying every year in honor of this day

Daniela Botero, Co-Editor in Chief

Being a junior and the president of one of the most recognized clubs on campus is almost unheard of, yet this PBC student does it with ease and a smile. Ida Alvarado, president of the Best Buddies club, is a junior who is involved in many other extracurriculars and honor societies while also being president and doing it all with heart.

Ida Alvarado joined Peer Partners, a class where students are partnered with an ESE (Exceptional Student Education) student to assist them with school work, her sophomore year and immediately fell head over heels with the class. Due to the immense joy the environment brought her, she instantly joined the Best Buddies club. This club, much like the class, pairs you with an ESE student (a.k.a, a “buddy”) but allows you to truly interact with each other through events like their annual “Buddy Walk” and their yearly Ball, amongst other events.

This love and fascination for helping others and working with kids of special needs did not simply appear out of thin air. Her mother’s best friend’s daughter, whom Ida grew up with, had autism. Growing up with her peaked Alvarado’s interest in helping people, as well as taught her that people with disabilities are just like everyone else and deserve friendship as well. Not only that but her brother, Central alumni Allan Alvarado, was also a Peer Partners student and he heavily influenced Ida into joining through his fun-filled stories.

She believes that this interaction at such a young age “…exposed me to all types of people, so I was already used to being around people with disabilities,” said Alvarado. “I knew how to interact with others and make good relationships with everyone.”

In fact, Ida actually went straight into a leadership position when she joined Best Buddies, so leadership is nothing new for her. When she first joined Best Buddies, last year’s president, Luke Robarts, asked her to become treasurer and she gladly accepted the position. When considering her place within the organization for the next year, everyone immediately knew who they wanted as president. Mr. Mills, the club’s sponsor and ESE teacher, agreed with everyone’s enthusiasm for Ida to become president.

“Ida Alvarado has been a fantastic choice as the new Best Buddies president,” expressed Mr. Mills. “She is energetic, organized, and positive. Ida has made a commitment to helping students with disabilities and it is evident that it is not just a job for her. She has shown that she truly cares and wants to make a difference on our campus and in the world!”

Ms. Alvarado’s passion for helping others and making them smile does not stop there. Since freshman year, Ida has been involved in the school’s theatre department and has both performed on-stage and helped backstage. She has also joined UNICEF, a volunteering club here at Palm Beach Central, this year and applied to two more honor societies that are dedicated to giving back to the community. However, this craving to assist and cheer-up people has always been there, and not just in high school.

“She’s always been super helpful and always trying to make people feel happy,” exclaimed junior and best friend of Ida’s for nine years, Raffaella Avella. “Whether she is trying to cheer them up or just trying to make things better for people, [it can be seen that] over the years her love for helping others has grown.”

As for the future, Alvarado hopes to continue to work with kids with disabilities. She would like to continue her work with the students beyond high school and possibly into her future career. This is because she truly enjoys what she does and has gained many skills from Best Buddies and Peer Partners that she hopes to use in the upcoming years. 

Amelia Marshall, junior and fundraising head of Best Buddies, believes that “her enthusiastic approach on life is what is most admired about Ida. Ida always tries to look at the positives in life and will completely disregard the negatives, getting to truly know them better instead of simply assuming. A true inspiration in my opinion.”

Ida Alvarado truly is an inspiration to all who think that age is a barrier to becoming president of a club they admire. As president of the Best Buddies club and member of many other volunteer-oriented clubs and honor societies, helping others is what she strives for. Ida demonstrates that hard work, a kind heart, and a smile can allow you to accomplish anything.

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