Youth Leadership Council for the Inclusion Revolution

Special Olympics VA announces new initiative this year for Unified Champion Schools
Youth Leadership

Special Olympics Virginia has partnered with over 500 schools to promote inclusion using sports, youth leadership and awareness initiatives. During these unprecedented times we are hopeful the Unified Champion School opportunities will bridge the gap during this time of social distancing that has impacted students’ lives.

Unified Champion Schools allows students with and without intellectual disabilities to take leadership roles in promoting inclusion in their schools. Participants acquire lifetime leadership lessons to help them develop strategies and organize events to build a school community where all young people are agents of change advocating for the acceptance of all students.

Special Olympics Virginia is proud to announce the first Youth Leadership Council (YLC). The YLC is a group comprised of individuals with and without intellectual disabilities from across the state in grades 10th – 12th. Each unified youth leader pair (athlete and partner) must be from the same school. This group will work together throughout their term to educate, motivate, and activate more students to become agents of change in their communities and advocate for the respect, inclusion and acceptance of all people, regardless of abilities.

The YLC will provide a chance for 16-20 young people, with and without IDs, to take their passion for leadership to a new level in Virginia. These youth leaders will receive training, speak at internal and external events/conferences, as well as create a network that will open their minds to a state perspective. The YLC will use a wide variety of tools to communicate effectively, such as email, social media, video conference calls and youth summits.

If you would like to more information about this youth leadership opportunity, please feel free to reach out to Veronica Jennings at [email protected] to discuss over a call. The nomination form can be found HERE. If you know the perfect youth leader pair, please send their completed nomination forms by Friday, October 16th.