Blogging with Buddy John Masteron

August 19, 2011

Everybody can be a Buddy

I’ve been in Best Buddies for four years. June 9, 2007 is when I started working as an intern in the California Governor’s mailroom. Through the California WE Include program, former First Lady Maria Shriver and Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to give people with developmental disabilities a chance to work at the capitol and in other jobs, just like Best Buddies tries to do around the world.

John Masterson

Here in Sacramento, we didn’t have a Best Buddies school program, so the Governor’s Office called my old teachers Barry and Pam in Sacramento City Unified School District’s Transition Program. They hooked up students as interns, just like they had us try all types of other jobs while I was in school. The interns at the capitol, in the state offices, field offices and everywhere liked being Best Buddies. I liked being a Buddy intern so much that as I got close to graduating I asked Governor Schwarzenegger for a job. I was appointed mailroom assistant on December 3, 2007, my 22nd birthday. I’ve been working in the mailroom ever since. I love it. This year I am working with Governor Jerry Brown’s administration.

I learned about Best Buddies from Maria Shriver. It is a great organization that helps people with developmental disabilities make friends, find work, and be leaders. Her brother Anthony Shriver started Best Buddies. I like Best Buddies so much that I donate a little every month.

And I ride in the Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle. My dad and I ride a tandem. Last year we rode 35 miles. I think it was too much, so this year we’re riding 15 miles on September 10. We ride on Highway 1 along the California coast and last year I saw sea lions. I also rode in the celebrity ride with Anthony Colby, a retired professional cyclist with Team Jelly Belly. I met many other celebrities, we had bbq – tri-tip is my favorite – and there was a great concert. I gave flowers to Natasha Bedingfield. My dad and I raised a lot of money last year $5,710. So far this year, I have raised $1,100. I ask everyone I know to support my ride and Best Buddies. It isn’t hard to ask people because it is such a good program. Hope Dworaczyk, a model, fashion pro, and Playmate of the Year 2010 competed on the Celebrity Apprentice Season 11 to raise money for Best Buddies. With more money, there can be more buddies.

You can be a buddy even if there isn’t a program near you.

You can join Team Maria and ride, walk, or run in California on September 10.

You could donate to my fundraising as part of Team Maria, or directly to Team Maria. Every donation, big or small, helps.

Maybe you could start or participate in a program or chapter in your school or community. Look on for more information

Or maybe you already know somebody with an intellectual disability from church or school or work or out in the community – go ahead today, ask them if they’d like to be your buddy and then make a social plan. Eat lunch together, or go for a walk, hang out or anything. Work is a very good part of being best buddies, but friends are the best part.

Working in the Governor’s Office

It is Sunday night. Tomorrow I get to go to work. I like going to work. I work in Governor Jerry Brown’s mailroom. I deliver the mail to the governor’s horseshoe – that’s the part of the Capitol where the governor’s offices are. I deliver mail to operations, and to my friends Josh and Julie who work in the governor’s office. I also go to scheduling, executive – where they plan the governor’s events, and legal.

When I bring the mail, I get to say hello to everyone. I also pick up the outgoing mail. Back in the mailroom I stamp, staple, sort, file. The people in the mailroom are great. They’ve shown me how to do my job. Mr. Nick is my supervisor. I like working with Mr. Nick because I’ve known him a long time, he’s taught me a lot, and I trust him. I love Mr. Nick.

I take lunch at 12:00 and I ride light rail to and from the Capitol. It is great to have work to look forward to every day. My favorite part of work is working for the Governor. It’s really special and important. I’m happy he hired me at the beginning of this year.


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