A Full Day of Inclusion
Britney was named Innovator of the Week! Click here to hear more about her story and the impact she is making in her community.
Britney is a Special Olympics Youth Leader entering her senior year of high school in Hawaii and has competed as a Special Olympics athlete within her area’s Unified Sports program for the past two years. Before joining Special Olympics, Britney was embarrassed to say that she had a disability, but through Special Olympics, she has embraced it. This summer, she traveled to Seattle, Washington for the Special Olympics USA Games and Youth Leadership Experience. Special Olympics Oahu led a Unified Sports Day and this event inspired Britney to lead something similar within her school and connect to younger students. Based on the leadership skills she’s developed through Unified Programs, the Youth Leadership Experience, and other opportunities, Britney is confident that her Youth Innovation Project to organize a Unified Sports Day will change the community. She will be the main leader for this project, but work alongside two mentors, peers from her recreation leadership class, and volunteers.
Britney’s project will increase inclusion not only at her school, but within her community as well. Students at her school will interact with elementary school students to create the Unified Sports Day experience. At this event, elementary students with and without intellectual disability will learn about the importance of inclusion and play sports with their peers. The goal is to break down barriers that currently limit interaction among general education and Special Education students. Teachers will receive activity ideas to incorporate into their classroom lessons that encourage inclusion and acceptance of all students. Parents of the students will be able to see the opportunities available for individuals with intellectual disability to become more involved in school and create life-long friendships and memories. The Unified Sports Day experience invites students of a variety of ages, and adults, to engage in an event that will change the perceptions toward people with intellectual disability.
Britney is most excited about meeting all of the younger students who will participate in this project and play sports together. She is also ready to demonstrate her leadership skills and make a positive impact on her community. To her, being part of the Unified Generation means that “every human being shows an act of kindness toward individuals with intellectual disabilities. If we come together as a unit, we will be role models for the future generations to promote inclusiveness in their own lives.”