Buddy of the Year 2013

Buddy of the Year for 2013: Bess Winebarger

During her years as a student in Gwinnett County Schools, Bess was always described as a hard working student who tried to excel in all of her subjects, both special education classes and those that were in the regular education environment. She graduated Parkview High School in 2007 with a special education diploma. In 2008, she attended the Cobb Adult Education Program where she earned her GED and also won the Director’s Award, granted for the singular student exhibiting the highest performance and academic achievement of the graduating class.

In 2010, Bess reached her lifelong goal of attending college and entered the Kennesaw State University’s Academy for Inclusive Adult Education. At Kennesaw, she took college level courses in acting, art history and world history, and spent her second year interning in the arts’ department box office. She graduated from that program in May of 2012.

Since graduating from the Kennesaw program, she has resumed her driver’s training with Freedom and Mobility and is working to achieve her driver’s license. For the past year, Bess has been a volunteer at the Georgia Aquarium and has tallied 164 hours of service in the last twelve months, working as an usher in the 4-D theater and Dolphin Show.

Over the years, Bess has always been an avid fan of the theater, and musical theater, in particular. For the past seven years, she has joyously performed with the Habima Theater at the Atlanta Jewish Community Center. Bess hopes to find a job working in a box office in a theater in the Atlanta area.

Bess truly embodies the spirit of DSAA's Buddy of the Year as a strong, passionate self-advocate who can't be stopped. It is with great pleasure that we name Bess Winebarger as the 2013 Buddy of the Year!

2014 Nominations are now open, download the form here