Youth Innovation Projects

Our goal: empower the Unified Generation to lead

In 2018, Special Olympics launched the Youth Innovation Project initiative. Supported by global leaders in philanthropy, the initiative brings financial resources and technical support to the grassroots, directly empowering young people to engage their peers and community in creating inclusion. Through this initiative, Special Olympics Youth Leaders with and without intellectual disabilities come together to design, plan and implement their own visions for inclusion in their schools and communities, leveraging the tools of Special Olympics and the mentorship of adult allies.


In its inaugural year, Special Olympics identified and funded 80 youth-led projects in nearly 40 countries, from Argentina to India to Cote d’Ivoire to Estonia to Papua New Guinea to the United States and many more countries between. After a thorough review process, each project received up to $2,000 USD to be spent with support of local Special Olympics staff.

The projects

Explore the map below to see all of the youth-led projects being implemented around the world through the Youth Innovation Grant initiative.


  • Learn about the projects being led by Youth Leaders with and without intellectual disabilities around the world.

  • Are you ready to promote inclusion in your school or community? Click below to find out more information on the deadline, requirements and project expectations.

  • Want to learn more about the Youth Innovation Grant initiative? Contact us today!