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
One of the two Registered Student Organizations that I have been apart of this year is the Alternative Breaks program. CMU has one of the top AB programs in the country. I was lucky enough to have been able to participate on a Winter Break that went to Asheville, North Carolina. I went on the break focusing on Access to Sports and Recreation. We were able to work with a YMCA that held after school events for kids and ran a summer camp. We built a Gaga Ball pit, dug out a trench to help reduce the field from flooding, and ran a field day for the kids. It was awesome to improve their field and get to spend some time hanging out with the kids. Also, we were able to go out into a couple of communities and give out healthy food options and Turkeys for families to have for Christmas dinner. It was an amazing feeling to see how grateful each person was to receive a turkey and some healthy food.
The Whole AWB Group
Coming into the week, I did not have super high expectations. I was completely blown away by the experience. I simply thought we would be volunteering at a YMCA, but it was much more than that. The things this YMCA were doing with having food drives that gave healthy options and steered people from using whatever canned food they were normally given does not get the credit it deserved. All of the workers at the YMCA had such passion for what they were doing. Especially Lisa Riggsbee, our community partner, who had so much passion and was doing so much that she was most likely not all required to do. This was such an amazing place with so many amazing people and I am so proud to have been on this break. Words can not fully describe how much this trip meant to me. My site leaders Alexandra and Cullan helped make the experience great along with my amazing group members. Everyone had such great personalities and a love for helping others.
I am so happy that I was able to experience an alternative break. It has had such a large impact in my life. I enjoyed my experience so much that I wanted to explore more that alternative breaks had to offer. This lead to me applying to become a site leader my self and be apart of the board. I was happy when I got accepted to be a site leader next year. As well, I will be one of the Weekends Site, Service,and Development Co-Chairs. I am so excited to be taking on these leadership roles next year and to be even more involved with Alternative Breaks.