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Youth Leaders take Hyannisport

In July, several youth leaders from Massachusetts had the opportunity to attend an invite only 50th anniversary event hosted by Special Olympics International at the Kennedy Compound in Hyannisport. Part of this weekend included a youth summit where they met fellow youth leaders, educators, celebrities and Special Olympics staff, all on a mission to make schools more inclusive. The youth leaders from Massachusetts, Bryna St. Pierre, Emma Ganley, Elyse Whittemore and Sydney Meininger joined students from many other states to share ideas about how they can make their communities more inclusive and realizing how much power they have as…

Author: Catherine Twing

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2019 National Banner Schools Announced

This year, 16 Massachusetts High Schools have received the honor of being called a National Banner School. These schools have met or exceeded national standards of excellence in the areas of Unified sports, whole school engagement and inclusive youth leadership. They join a group of 10 Massachusetts schools which received this honor in 2018. These schools will be presented with a banner to hang in their school and be included on a list of other schools around the country who have achieved this distinguished status. Once a school has become a Unified Champion School they are eligible to apply…

Author: Catherine Twing

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2019 Gatorade Player of the Year

TABOR ACADEMY STUDENT-ATHLETE AWARDS SPECIAL OLYMPICS MASSACHUSETTS GRANT THROUGH GATORADE Hingham, Mass. native and Massachusetts Girls Soccer Gatorade State Player of the Year, Cat Barry awarded Special Olympics Massachusetts with a $1,000 grant to help accomplish our mission of providing inclusive sports competition and leadership opportunities throughout the state. Barry is a rising senior at Tabor Academy in Marion, and plays for the NEFC in the Development Academy. Going into her senior year, she already has 61 goals and 32 assists during her NEPSAC career, including several en route to the Seawolves’ Class A championship win over Thayer Academy…

Author: Catherine Twing

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Unified sports is more than competition

There are few moments that match the excitement of representing your school and hometown at a State Championship. On Wednesday May 29, 2019, students from 54 Massachusetts schools had the opportunity at the 2019 MIAA Unified Track & Field state meet. While 54 schools were represented at States, this was a record year with 81 Massachusetts schools participating in Unified Track & Field locally this season. On a chilly late-May day at Milford High School, athletes and Unified partners competed side by side in track and field events including javelin, long jump, shot put, 100m dash, 400m dash and relays….

Author: Catherine Twing

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Youth Ambassador has eye-opening experience at Schools Conference

Elyse Whittemore is a junior at Auburn High School and was selected as a 2019 Special Olympics U.S. Youth Ambassador. She attended the Special Olympics Schools Conference in San Diego California, February 2019 along with fellow Youth Ambassador Sydney Meininger and their mentor Alison Deluca. Wow.  The only word to describe the 2019 Unified Champion Schools Conference in San Diego, California.  The experience of attending this conference was eye-opening, life changing, and one I, along with my fellow Youth Leaders will never forget.  The Youth Leader portion of the conference was three days long and packed with workshops, general…

Author: Catherine Twing

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Massachusetts students named US Youth Ambassadors

Two Massachusetts students have been selected as part of the 2019 Class of Unified Champion Schools US Youth Ambassadors. Sydney Meininger and Elyse Whittemore were selected to be a part of the Youth Ambassador Initiative along with 10 other young adults with and without intellectual disabilities from across the country. These passionate leaders will receive training, speak at events and conferences, as well as explore topics that will inspire new ideas to promote inclusion. Both Sydney and Elyse, along with Mentor Ali Deluca of Auburn High School, will be traveling to San Diego in February for leadership training with…

Author: Catherine Twing

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Student grows Unified programs in Boston Public Schools

Kaylie DeCosmo has a goal to grow Unified programming in Boston Public Schools, and with the help of Special Olympics, she’s going to make it a reality. A native of Derry, New Hampshire and a Health Science (Pre-Med track) student at Northeastern University, Kaylie was recently awarded a $2,000 Special Olympics Youth Innovation Grant to develop her project. She is among 142 students globally to receive this round of Youth Innovation Grants, funding 84 projects. According to Special Olympics International, “This diverse cohort of youth leaders represent 53 countries and span all seven regions of the global Special Olympics movement.”…

Author: Catherine Twing

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Historic 2018 for Special Olympics Massachusetts!

To close out 2018, we’re taking a look back at the top 10 Special Olympics Massachusetts moments of the year! From the 2018 USA Games in Seattle, to the unveiling of unprecedented partnerships and the celebration of Special Olympics’ 50th anniversary, 2018 has had plenty of memorable moments. Xtra Mile Boston Marathon Team runs 26.2 miles for inclusion On April 16, the 26 runners on the Unified Xtra Mile Boston Marathon team ran 26.2 miles for inclusion. The team raised over $318,800 for Special Olympics Massachusetts, an Xtra Mile team record! The team included board members, relatives of Special…

Author: Catherine Twing

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Palmer students receive national Special Olympics grant

Students with and without disabilities at Palmer High School will soon be cooking and learning about nutrition together, thanks to a Special Olympics International Youth Innovation Grant. Nineteen student-led inclusion initiatives in communities across the United States, including Palmer High School, are the inaugural recipients of the grants. Funding from the grant aims to advance a broad range of inclusion initiatives in Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools. Chelsea Lopes and Maygen James, two student leaders from Palmer High School, proposed their idea for a Unified Cooking class, to be taught by Palmer teacher Paul Holloway, and have been awarded…

Author: Catherine Twing

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