As you may know, I highly considered going into special education as a major here at CMU, before I took interest into writing. That being said, I have always been quite involved in organizations like the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Special Olympics, Lutz High School, and many others. Coming into college I was concerned as to how I would be able to stay involved in organizations like these, when I discovered that Central Michigan University is actually home to Michigan’s Special Olympics headquarters! The opportunities on this campus are absolutely endless.
Coincidentally, my Leadership Advancement Scholarship requires us to be involved in a LEAD team, which is essentially a committee of a select few events in which each member of the 4 years of LAS students must participate in each year. The selection process for each LEAD team is based off of your scale of 1-10 preference evaluated with your skills. With a Special Olympics Leadership Conference being one of the LEAD teams, I made it my number 1, and was lucky enough to be a part of it!
Our Special Olympics LEAD team met once a week starting in September and on October 28th 2016, we had our Special Olympics Leadership Launch. This event was essentially a leadership conference for children with special needs. As a facilitator, I was allowed the opportunity to work one on one with children with special needs through the many activities we held throughout the day.
Our LEAD team was split up into groups of 2 where each pair of committee members were given a team name. My partner, Maddie, and I had the “Satellite Silver” team, since the theme of the day was space. We were then given a group of about 15 people made up of students with disabilities and a buddy from their school to help them through the day.
Being a freshmen on this LEAD team was such an amazing opportunity and I am so thankful that I am given opportunities like the Special Olympics Leadership Launch in my community and in my scholarship. It’s pretty awesome that I got a grade for what I did, but I would do that every day for free if I could. Involving myself in Special Olympics Michigan so early on in my college experience was an awesome opportunity for myself as I have such a passion for working with those who are disabled. I find it so empowering to be able to positively affect my community as a college student through SOMI in events like their Leadership Launch and am overwhelmed with excitement to further involve myself in years to come.