The following post was written by Camryn, a Special Olympics Youth Leader from Hawaii. She makes it her mission to strengthen inclusion in her community. Check out how she #innovateforinclusion!
For my project, I created a youth leadership camp. I came up with the idea for my project
because I have learned a lot about inclusion and the importance of it and I wanted to share it with other people that don’t have the opportunity to learn about it like I do. I wanted to teach it to middle school students because they are going into high school soon and exclusion is a big problem in high schools. I wanted to show them the importance and that they can make a difference for their future. The name of my camp was called “Changing the T.I.D.E.” TIDE stands for tolerance, inclusion, diversity, and equality. In this camp, there were six stations. The first four were based off the name and the other two were about activation and communication. For each station, there was an activity that taught the
skill of the name of the station. For example, the diversity station was a back to back activity
where one person draws and the other describes what the picture was in the best way
possible. This teaches diversity because it shows the different ways the students describe the pictures.
A couple challenges that I’ve faced during the planning of my project was time. I was working at the time I was planning my project and since I worked late hours, I wouldn’t have time after work to plan out my project. It was hard to balance school, work, and planning all at the same time. Another challenge I had was being creative with the layout of my project, the stations and activities, and the designs of the shirts. Some things that I learned from creating this project were communication and time management. I had to write letters to the principal and other schools in order to host my project at my school and to have the middle schools attend. School started in August and my project was to be hosted in September, so I had about a month to plan.
I think people were impacted by my project because at the end of each activity there were discussion leaders and each group would reflect about the activity and what they learned and why this station and/ or quality is important to learn about. This is the main part that would impact them because discussions are important in order to dig deep and really reflect about what they learned and how they can use this in their daily lives. I loved seeing everybody smile and laugh and enjoy the day. It was memorable to me because I was able to create something that made people happy. I liked listening to the discussions because it showed me that people learned from my camp. I am proud that I was able to make a difference in the community.
The 2018–2019 Special Olympics Youth Innovation Grant initiative is supported through partnerships with Hasbro, Inc., The Samuel Family Foundation, the Office of Special Education Programs at the United States Department of Education, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the Kantar Group, the Microsoft Corporation, Lane Global Youth Leadership, and the Lions Clubs International Foundation. Learn more about these inspiring projects at SpecialOlympicsGlobalYouthProjects.org.