October 28th → Special Olympics Leadership Launch → Team MilkyWay Magenta
First and foremost this blog is a reflection about my Lead Team for the Leadership Advancement Scholarship. A Lead Team is a group of students in the LAS program who all work together for something specific like a workshop, Competition Day, or Grad Ball. My Lead Team was the Special Olympics and we facilitated a program called the Leadership Launch. As a team, we met once a week and planned for our day of facilitating and fun. Within our Lead Team we were paired together to be co-guides for the students coming to Leadership Launch and were given cool space names. My co and I were MilkyWay Magenta and I must say, we were the most out of this world group.
The Leadership Launch is a part of Special Olympics Project Unified. Project Unified promotes equality in schools and athletics for students with disabilities. Through this project, we created a day full of leadership and fun for students with disabilities and their “buddy”. All of the activities they participated in helped these kids see and think of themselves as leaders whether that be in their schools or on different teams. It was a period of time where these students could be whatever and whoever they wanted no matter what. It was fascinating to watch all the kids think about what they were learning and talk about applying it to their lives and how they could be the “leaders of today”, as Dan Gaken would say.
Something from this day that stuck with me more than anything was one of the activities we did with all the students. This particular activity was about their dreams for the world and how they wanted the world the change. In my group participants said things like they wanted a world that did not use the R word, a world with more happiness, and a world that was inclusive for everyone including them. When they were going around and saying all of their dreams and aspirations for the world, it was a very powerful moment for me. I have always wanted to work in Special Education and my family has always been very involved in Special Ed BUT that day, I had a moment where everything seemed to fall into place. It was a powerful moment for me and a time when I knew what I wanted to do with my life and how I wanted to live. I knew then, that I wanted to make the world a better place for people with disabilities even if it is only one person.
Overall, this day was one for the books and it will forever have an impact on my life and how I want to live. Besides having fun and being involved with my passion, I learned something from the students there and from them I learned things about myself that I would not have learned without them. I now count down the days until I do my next event with Special Olympics because of the pure joy it brings to everyone including myself. ♥