Changing the World With My Best Friend
Special Olympics have been around for 47 years and has impacted millions of lives. However, they are not stopping anytime soon.
Special Olympics has created another movement, Generation Unified: Social Impact Summit. Generation Unified is created for the generation of young people today with a vision to chase a vision that this world can eliminate stigma and perception against people with intellectual disabilities. Only 180 people attend the summit – 150 being global youth leaders, 30 being global change mentors – but include all those with and without intellectual disabilities throughout the world.
Best friends, Carmel High School student Abby Abel and Special Olympics Indiana Athlete Mitch Bonar received their invitation to the Summit.
Out of 131 applications from over 38 countries, both Abel and Bonar stood out from the crowd by presenting their project proposal on ways for athletes and friends to stay connected after high school. They even received a personal acceptance letter to the Summit by Timothy Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics International.
“Athletes lose their connections after high school–their good friends and close friends,” said Mitch. “Both of us would like to think of new innovative ways for former high school students to stay in contact –we’ve thought about a unified homecoming or banquet to get everyone together.”
The GenUin: Social Impact Summit allows leaders to connect, engage, and learn from the mentors who will help them turn their ideas into impact. Each project will receive funding upon completion of the Summit program.It takes dedicated people with undivided devotion to want to impact the world and break down barriers that have been built between those with intellectual disabilities and those without. Abby Abel and Mitch Bonar have embodied that vision.
It is not the first time Abby and Mitch have teamed up together. Last year, both attended the Youth Summit and were selected out of hundreds of youth leaders to serve on the National Youth Activation Committee.
Both of these youth are on a mission to spread the word about Project UNIFY to the world!