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A UHMC Travel to the East Coast: Special Olympics 50th Anniversary

A UHMC Travel to the East Coast: Special Olympics 50th Anniversary
October 21, 2019 Britney Bautista
Photo of Lobster Roll

July 17, 2019: Arrival in Boston. After we arrived, we all caught the hotel shuttle. Originally, we were supposed to stay at Evolve East Boston but due to a situation, we instead stayed at a hotel near the airport for the night. We checked into our hotel, changed our comfortable travel clothing, and headed out. Throughout the day, we checked out a few gift shops and I purchased several items ranging from key chains, magnets, and an outfit for my baby cousin. We were getting hungry when we found an outdoor market with little shops and food vendors. After looking around, we decided to get some delicious lobster rolls, which were hot, buttery, and loaded with fresh lobster. We had been directed by a nice local boy on where to find the best lobster roll. We continued our sightseeing adventure with more gift shopping before visiting a park, which we toured around in a boat. We enjoyed our relaxing break in the park before heading back to our hotel. From there, we caught an Uber to the restaurant I had wanted to try out for dinner, which my group agreed upon. The restaurant is an iconic place called Wahlburgers. Wahlburgers is family-owned and well known from the television show about the family and the restaurant. The dinner was delicious, and we took a group picture with the cardboard cutout of the three brothers: Mark, Donnie and Paul Wahlberg. We caught an Uber back to the hotel and went to sleep.

Trader Joes Building
Photo by Britney Bautista

July 18 2019: Visiting Hyannis Port. Sarah, a Special Olympics employee, picked us up from our hotel and drove us to Hyannis Port, stopping first at Trader Joe’s. After we checked in to our new hotel, we went to the nearby mall to grab lunch. After walking around the mall for a bit, we headed back to our hotel, where we helped to prepare the swag items that were to be given out that weekend. This included combining two mini sunscreen bottles with a water bottle and folding shirts for the participants. Then, we went to the unified champion school dinner at our hotel. At the end of this, the youth ambassadors had to stay back to receive our roles for the weekend from Hannah, Specialist for Youth Activation and Engagement. Finally, we went back to our hotel to sleep.

Britney Bautista at the Special Olympics participating in group work.
Photo Courtesy of Britney Bautista

July 19, 2019: First Day of Leadership. In the morning, we had round table discussions about the education of inclusive policies, meaningful inclusion, and goals for the next generation of Special Olympics. At my table, I was joined by mentors, sponsors, and special guests. I met Kevin who works with Hasbro and helps with the Youth Innovation Grant. I also met Benjamin Potter of Clickon Film Productions from the United Kingdom. Two of his employees created a documentary about me at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games Youth Leadership Experiences. I wrote a speech on the topic of new skills and practiced ahead of time with my mentors. There was a little pressure, but overall, I felt impressed with myself. I met Yang Lan, Special Olympics East Asia Board Member to go over the script and meet the person who I was to co-emcee with the next day. Then, we went to a welcome reception in the Kennedy-Shriver compound where I had a great time and took many photos with my youth ambassadors. Finally, we headed back to the hotel for the night.

Britney on stage at the Special Olympics
Photo Courtesy of Britney Bautista

July 20, 2019: Unified Day of Play. The Opening Ceremony with Yang Lan, East Asia Board Member, was a success. I followed her speech and was able to introduce all the teams. It was an honor to be selected to speak, a moment in my life I will always remember. The sports day was held at the Kennedy-Shriver Compound and the sports being played were Bocce Ball, Flag Football, Soccer, and Volleyball. My favorite sport was Bocce Ball, while my least favorite was Volleyball. After lunch I went on my first sailing trip, thankful I didn’t get seasick. We headed back to the hotel after this and had a little time to play in the pool and get ready for the festivities of our last evening. We arrived at the Kennedy-Shriver Compound and spent some time taking pictures and creating memories with each other. We checked in and we received a table card with the year 2016 written on it. Table centerpieces displayed a different year per table with a few significant highlights from that year. We enjoyed musical performances and a video collaberation from the past 50 years. The Founder Council announced the results from the Scavenger Hunt with congratulations and we listened to a couple guest speakers. The dinner was huge! There was a whole lobster and crab with clams, chicken, and bread on my plate. This night was a celebration I was honored to be part of, and I can’t wait to be the next generation to take on the legacy of Special Olympics founder, Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

Stay tuned for my next Special Olympics Event on  October 19-23rd in Washington DC!

Britney's table at one of the dinners during Special Olympics.
Photo by Britney Bautista

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