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Best Buddies Texas Interim State Director - Deona A. Cole
Deona A. Cole, Best Buddies Texas Interim State Director

Deona A. Cole joined the Best Buddies team in 2005. She began her career with Best Buddies Florida after graduating from the University of South Florida with a degree in Communications. Deona has served as Interim State Director since January 2011 and has previously held positions as a Program Manager and Deputy Director of Programs. She resides in Clearwater Beach, Florida.

Why did you choose Best Buddies for employment?

I became familiar with the Best Buddies program while in college. Through my interactions with program participants on my college campus I was encouraged to enroll in the Citizens program upon graduation.

When the Program Manager position became available in the Tampa office it was only logical for me to apply. The organization and position appealed to me for many reasons but the opportunity to provide social inclusion and leadership development for people with and without intellectual disabilities spoke volumes to me.

What does friendship mean to you?

A friend is someone you can rely on and sees you for who you truly are. I remember the impact a Best Buddies flyer made on me when I was in college; it featured a Buddy Pair in a friendly embrace with the caption, "One of these individuals has a disability and the other one doesnt care!" A friend is one of the nicest things you can have and one of the best things you can be.

What are your goals for your state this year?

To enable the state to grow; strengthen our amazing chapters; develop the new Buddy Ambassador program; build on the success of our annual events; and cultivate our supporters across the state.
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