The Unified Youth Summit starts school year on right track! Seven schools within the Philadelphia School District sent their youth leaders to attend our Unified Youth Summit as part of our Interscholastic Unified Sports (IUS) program. The day started off with Britt Kleine, Director of Special Olympics Philadelphia, welcoming all of the students, coaches and school staff. Jordan Schubert, Special Olympics Chester County athlete and Special Olympics Pennsylvania staff member, was the Keynote Speaker. Jordan shared his journey through high school and college and how Special Olympics and the Unified movement impacted his life. After an inspirational keynote address, it was time to educate our student leaders on how they too could start their Special Olympics journey like Jordan. 

Our student leaders were excited to learn about the various components of the program (Unified Sports, Unified Youth Committee, and Whole School Engagement) and a new initiative Special Olympics Philadelphia is launching to help them with their Whole School Engagement – the Cool Schools Challenge as part of our inaugural Philadelphia Polar Plunge! After a brief presentation, students broke out by school to discuss how to engage students in their respective school, how to run meetings and decide on ideas to run with. After each breakout session, a representative from each school reported out to all of the student leaders. 

The Summit ended with by our student leaders taking a pledge to be the agents of change within their schools and pledging to Plunge at the Cool Schools portion of the Philadelphia Plunge to show the public that they support for inclusion and respect. Before everyone left, we took a group picture and individual school pictures with the Philadelphia Polar Plunge mascot, whose name was announced earlier during the Summit! The students loved taking pictures with the newly named mascot, Chilladelphia! 

Schools who attend the Unified Youth Summit include:

  • Abraham Lincoln HS
  • Universal Charter Audenried High School
  • Frankford HS
  • Furness HS
  • High School of the Future
  • Martin Luther King HS
  • Thomas Edison HS

Special Olympics Project UNIFY is an education-based project, funded by the U.S. Department of Education that uses the sports and education programs of Special Olympics to activate young people across the U.S in order to promote school communities where all young people are agents of change – fostering respect, dignity and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics believes that through sports young people can make a difference in friendships, schools and communities.

Project UNIFY initiatives include a host of core activities, both on the national and the grass-roots level. Local projects that meet Project UNIFY objectives are supported through a funding process for U.S. Special Olympics Programs.

Special Olympics Project UNIFY incorporates sports and related activities, however, in this new way of operating (youth-centered, school focused) there is an enhancement in current programs and paradigms from a focus on events to committing to a movement advocating for youth as change agents now and in the future. To learn more, click here.

Philly Champions Revealed at the Eastern Fall Sectional. What was suppose to be a rainy day, ended up being a beautiful day – perfect for the Eastern Fall Sectional. The Eastern Fall Sectional was held on October 4, 2015, at East Stroudsburg University. Conditions couldn’t have been any better for our Philadelphia athletes to compete in Soccer, Soccer Skills, Bocce and Unified Bocce. Other sports at the event included Long Distance Walking/Running and Volleyball. Our athletes have been training hard in their respective sports and it showed as they earned gold, silver, and bronze! Congratulations to all of our athletes who competed at the Eastern Fall Sectional and a huge thank you to all of our coaches who guide our athletes day in and day out and help our athletes achieve their goals!
Bocce – Doubles Teams
  • Teddy Angerman & John Kulpa – 3rd Place
  • Christina DiVergilis & Irwin Fox – 1st Place
  • Pamela Galone & Raymond Anderson – 2nd Place
  • Bryan Ziegler & William Celmer – 4th Place
  • Kevin Karcher & Kirstyn Cantres – 2nd Place

Coaches – Carole Angerman, Carole Canady and Michelle Angerman 

  • Lenny Lutts Sr. & Lenny Lutts Jr. – 1st Place

Coaches – Carole Angerman, Carole Canady and Michelle Angerman 

Soccer – Team Stars & Stripes – 5 a-side – 1st Place

Ronald Atkins, Lisa Barbour, Kristie Walls, Jackie Lutts, Edwin Ian Capacio, Allison Davidson, Michael Weinberg, Emmett Abdo, Eddie Glover, David Brent Williams

Coaches – Charles Abdo, David McCarty, Karen Aviso, Ronald Atkins

Soccer – Team Philly Phlash – 1st Place

Matthew Grabowski, Joseph Rynkiewicz, Ryan Bogan, Charles Zisette, Angel Rodriguez, Brian Stulz, Jesse Rose, Carl Irvis, Mitchel Stahl, Daniel Charlton , Matthew Beckman, 

Coaches – Walt Beckman, Stacy Plumbo, Linda Rose, Jon Garvey

Soccer Skills
  • Kayla Atkins
  • Lafayette Charleston 
  • Marlene Johnson
  • Nicholas Uhniat

Coach – Cynthia Charleston