Members of the Youth Activation Committee celebrated October’s National Bully Prevention Month by taking over some of our social media channels on October 27 during the inaugural YAC social media takeover.
The Columbus High students posted on Instagram and Facebook throughout the day, promoting Unified Champion Schools, the Polar Plunge, and SOfit. Most importantly, they used the opportunity to demonstrate how they are leading the movement toward inclusion for all in schools and how others can help prevent bullying and change the culture in their schools.
The Youth Activation Committee (YAC) is a select group of student athletes and partners, ages 13-21, from across the state that have demonstrated great leadership and compassion for Special Olympics athletes. These students are passionate about activating peers to promote school communities that foster respect, dignity and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities.
The inaugural YAC takeover began with a morning post by Peyton Bohn of Columbus High, who explained what the Youth Activation Committee does and aims to do.
“As a YAC member, we provide youth leadership to Special Olympics Wisconsin and Unified Champion Schools by participating in huge Special Olympics events,” Bohn said. “We also provide advice and ideas to reach other youth across the state and we also promote Special Olympics activities everywhere.”
Ryan King and SOWI athlete Kira Janisch picked up where Bohn left off in driving home the importance of an inclusive environment in schools. In response to King’s question about why she loved Unified Champion Schools, Janisch said, “a lot of people are having fun together and it’s awesome.”
Olivia Voelker talked about her YAC and UCS experiences and finding your “daily sparks” that bring unexpected joy to you and others.
Kenzie Selk encouraged viewers to share “Kindness Clips” with their friends and family to help spread awareness for Bullying Prevention Month.
Later in the day, Lauren Henry talked about SOfit, the program that takes a Unified approach to improving and protecting health and wellness for people with and without intellectual disabilities. Henry then introduced to viewers to Columbus High School’s very own SOfit program. “So, the other YAC members and I attend Columbus High School and we have a SOfit program, so we’re going to take you with tonight,” Henry said.
After SOfit, the group encouraged others to get active, did a Special Olympics Wisconsin bingo game and then ended with a touching closing message to their audience.
All in all it was an incredible day where the power of Unified Champion Schools was on full display. We can’t wait to do one again!