I am glad to have been involved with the Special Olympics College for two years now. It is truly a blessing that the Special Olympics Michigan Office is located in Mount Pleasant where i can be so involved with one of my passions. This year was not as smooth with my involvement as I would have liked. Unified sports is my favorite part about SO College, but this year majority of the sports took placing during my Monday night class. I was still able to attend the Winter Special Olympics through SO College and participate in flag football.
Overall this was a great year for Special Olympics at CMU. We were recently recognized as one of 6 Unified Champion Schools. We have also continued to run the campaign to get rid of the “R” word. We continue to increase the number of people on campus that are involved with Special Olympics. Also, I am excited to say that I will be the Unified Chair on E-board next year for SO College. This opportunity will allow me to expand my involvment with Special Olympics and Unified Sports. Although this year was more on the rough side, next year is looking to be filled with many chances to grow.
Everyone right after the Unified Volleyball Championship at McGuirk
I have done a lot of volunteering this year, but this specific opportunity always stands out as one of the most influential events. I was once again given the opportunity to volunteer at the Winter Special Olympics in Traverse City. This was my second year in a row participating. I was once again able to volunteer on the slopes at Schuss Mountain. I will never get tired of watching the athletes perform so well in all of their events. This is emphasized when I go down the hill on my skis and cannot come close to being as skilled and smooth as all of the athletes.
Although I believe the ski hills are the best event, nothing beats the Opening and Closing Ceremony. It is great having all the volunteers form a walk way that all of the athletes run through with pure joy as they are cheered on and given copious amounts of high fives. The Closing Ceremony is then followed by a huge dance party with the athletes, which despite the sweat, will never tire me out. The Winter Special Olympics is the most gratifying volunteer experience I have been able to participate in. I am already looking forward to next year and maybe even switching up my event.
Great friends and even better volunteering.
To this point of my college career, the experiences I have had with Special Olympics at CMU have meant the most to me. I would not trade them for the world. SO College is one of the RSOs I have been apart of at Central my Sophomore year. I started getting involved with similar activities in high school through Victory Day. At Victory Day, Varsity Football players each got assigned an individual with intelectual dissibilities to be our partner for the day. We got to run drills with them and let them run in a touchdown on the field. It was one of my best moments in high school and pushed me towards Special Olympics in college.
I have been able to do a lot with the SO College this year. One of my favorite parts is participating in Unified Sports. We basically go through every sport, competing on teams that combine CMU students and Special Olympic athletes. This year I was able to participate in Football, Basketball, and hopefully kickball at the end of the year. Being around these athletes is one of my passions in life. I love to interact with every single one of them. Competing with the athletes has brought about a lot of joy and lasting memories. My favorite memory was playing a basketball game on McGuirk arena and bringing home the W. By simply playing a sport, I have made connections that I may normally not have had or expected. It truly brings joy to my heart. Another fun experience was getting to volunteer at the opening of Texas Roadhouse where we were able to spread awareness for Special Olympics. There are so many great things I have been able to do this year through Special Olympics and I am excited to continue participating next year.
My Unified Basketball Team
I am blessed that a couple of my friends share the same passion as me for Special Olympics. Being able to do these things with your friends make it even better. I will always enjoy this type of experience, and I hope to continue being involved in some way or another throughout my life. I have had a great experience with Special Olympics at Central Michigan University this year.