This year I was fortunate enough to be apart of the Leadership Launch LEAD Team. A LEAD Team is basically a bunch of LAS scholars that join together to help plan, facilitate, or gather information from of for the Leadership Institute. This year I had the opportunity to be apart of the 1st ever Leadership Launch team!
Put on in correlation with Special Olympics Michigan, Leadership Launch is a program that invites high school students and their special needs peers that are enrolled in the program Project Unify in their school (Learn more about Project Unify here: http://www.specialolympics.org/projectunify.aspx.) Together we explored more ways to produce an inclusive environment in each of the high schools in every aspect, not just sports.
I was lucky enough to facilitate the Purple Penguins, a group of about 7 pairs of students throughout the entirety of the day. This was my first time ever working with special needs kids or with Special Olympics so I was extremely nervous about the day heading into it. But looking back, I have no idea why. These kids were the most accepting and fun loving bunch that I have ever meet and they reminded me that it is good to try new things every chance you get because you never know what could become of it. They were a little much to handle at sometimes but completely worth it at the end of the day. They taught me that every idea is a good idea and being yourself is the best thing you can do.
Now reflecting on the experience, I can honestly say this was one of the best and most unforgettable afternoons of my life. Not only did I get some cool LI swag, get out of class and practice, and get to hang out with my friends for the afternoon, but I was able to develop relationships with people I never thought I would and had the opportunity to learn new things about myself.