Falcon Friends: building meaningful relationships one member at a time

By Jillian Mulholland
Are you a compassionate, dedicated person looking to build life-long friendships? If so, then Falcon Friends may be just the club for you.
Falcon Friends is a brand new club on campus, founded by senior Special Education major Molly Bicchieri, focused on bringing students with and without disabilities together to create long-lasting bonds between them.
Fitchburg State students will be spending time with peers in Fitchburg High School’s Extended Classroom, which is a program for students in the Fitchburg public school system with intellectual disabilities ages 18 to 22. The program is set on the Fitchburg State campus at McKay, and the students all have OneCards that allow them privileges such as, use of the dining hall, and rec center so they can immerse themselves in the college experience.
Social interaction is the focus of all club activities. Members regularly go out bowling or to the movies, and even go to the rec center on campus to work out and play basketball.  Some of the students in the Extended Classroom don’t often get the chance to hang out with friends outside of school, and this club affords them that opportunity to branch out and spend time in the community with local college students.
There is an emphasis on small group activities, where club members pair up and spend time just hanging out and bonding over mutual interests. The spring semester culminated in a Spring Fling, a casual prom for club members and their friends. Vice President and senior Special Education major Alissa Desilets spoke fondly of her experiences with Falcon Friends, and her goals for it. “My hope is that after these students age out of this public school program at 22, that they will still call up their friend to hang out, and still consider them a friend.”
Falcon Friends is actively looking for new members for the upcoming fall semester. Because of the intimacy and personal nature of this club, all potential members are required to meet with the president or vice president before officially joining to determine if this is the right club for them.This club requires dedication and commitment, as you are signing up to develop a friendship.
Students of all majors are welcome, and for further information regarding enrollment. are encouraged to contact
Alissa Desilets at ([email protected])
Or faculty advisor, Dr. Anne Howard at ([email protected])