Member Spotlight: Anastasia Carney
Name: Anastasia Carney
City of residence: Sacramento
Occupation: Program Associate, The California Endowment
How long have you been involved with Best Buddies?
My first interaction with the Best Buddies International was in 2007, but my first experience participating in the Best Buddies Challenge, Hearst Castle, was in 2009.
What inspired you to join Team Maria and take on the Challenge?
I had the privilege to work with Maria when she served as California’s First Lady, and one of the programs I worked on was WEInclude, which focused on promoting employment of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in California. I was humbled by the incredible work ethic and pride that these individuals took in their jobs and Best Buddies was a key partner in helping to reach out and educate employers and potential employees. After some initial nerves about riding a bicycle on a busy, one-lane freeway that drops into the ocean, I signed up to ride the 15 mile challenge to show my support for Best Buddies’ efforts to champion individuals with disabilities.
What is the most rewarding part of the Challenge for you?
Honestly, the most rewarding part for me is to see how proud the Buddies are at their accomplishment and how happy they are to be part of a tight knit and caring community. The sense of total acceptance permeates the entire weekend and is truly inspiring. It is something that we should aspire to see in every community.