Special Olympics Youth of the Week: Thomas Day and Federico Romero
The following post was written by Thomas Day and Frederico Romero, a Special Olympics Unified Sports pair from Indiana, and published originally by Special Olympics North America. This July, Thomas and Frederico will be attending the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle to participate in the Youth Leadership Experience (YLE). Along with Unified pairs from across the country, Thomas and Frederico were chosen for the YLE because of their leadership skills and passion for inclusion. Congrats to Thomas and Frederico for being named the #SOYouthOfTheWeek!
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We are Thomas Day and Federico Romero from West Lafayette High School in Indiana. We are both excited to represent Indiana at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle this summer. Our school supports clubs and activities like Best Buddies and Special Olympics Unified Track, which helps build an inclusive environment. We are excited to learn more about what other cities around the country do to create inclusive communities.
We met at the Best Buddies club at our school in fall of 2015, and later our friendship grew in Unified Track that spring. We both run the 400m and train together several times a week. This has allowed us to get to know each other better!
We are active members in both Unified Track and Best Buddies. This year we were paired together in Best Buddies, which definitely strengthened our friendship. We have gone to movies, Pacers games, and have attended Best Buddies meetings and parties together.
We have enjoyed preparing for the 2018 USA Games Youth Leadership Experience in Seattle. We have gone to Team Indiana’s Training Camps where we met athletes and coaches. While our role on the team was still developing, we appreciated how welcomed we felt by the rest of the team. We interviewed our fellow teammates and learned about their journeys to become members of Team Indiana. This has helped us learn more about how success can come from inclusive and supportive communities.
Since our last Training Camp, we have been busy learning about what we will be doing in Seattle for the Youth Leadership Experience and growing the Unified Programs at our school. We are both extremely excited for our trip to Seattle this July and we are looking forward to meeting youth leaders from other states. We are hoping we can learn what other communities are doing to make inclusive environments so we can bring that back to our school and community.