Youth Leader Spotlight! On September 19th, Maui High School hosted a Youth Leadership Summit with intermediate students from Maui, Oahu, and Kauai. This consisted of team building activities and discussions about Tolerance, Inclusivity, Diversity, and Equality. The main goal for the intermediate students was to bring inclusion back to their schools. This summit wouldn’t have been possible without Maui High School Senior Camryn, who wrote a Special Olympics Youth Innovation Grant with the help from Mrs. Jessica Adkins and Recreation Leadership class during the event.
From what I observed, the youth leadership summit was a success! The teamwork between the two classes of youth leadership and all the support being given to Camryn was amazing! The Intermediate students were engaged and had a lot of fun learning about new and creative activities to show awareness of inclusion in their schools. Teaching Intermediate students about breaking down barriers and being inclusive can make a difference in these young teen’s lives. Inclusion is an underrated issue here in Hawaii and bullying is zero tolerant. It’s easy to just go up to a lonely person who has a disability and say ‘’How is your day going?’’. These students with intellectual disabilities aren’t exposed to the general population and they are as important as the rest of the student body.
This station was about expanding unified champion schools. The discussion was about ways Maui High is a Unified Champion School and explained simple ways inclusion can be spread in other schools and everyday life. The Key Theme was Activation. This was station #5 and the activity leaders had to discuss the 3 components Of Unified Champion Schools and Ways to be inclusive in school and the community. They had to come up with ideas with the group where everyone participates and there were no wrong answers.
This was station #2 with the key theme of communication. This game included around 8-10 players with individuals with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities who were blindfolded. There were colored balls on the floor and they had to pick them up and put them in the box. Communication is the act of one or more persons conveying information to someone else. The content of the communication can be facts, ideas, concepts, opinions, attitudes and emotions. Communication is very important because it’s the only way we can effectively work together on anything.
During this exercise we used the foam ball to establish a process. The process starts with one team member receiving the ball from the ME (facilitator) and then tossing it across the circle to another team member. The receiving team member then tosses the ball to another team member and so on, until each team member has caught the ball one time. The last team member then tosses the ball back to the starting team member, thus completing the process. “
This was station 3, with the key theme being inclusivity. Inclusivity is trying to include many different types of people and to treat them all fairly and equally. Ways to increase inclusivity is to embrace and get to know everyone you meet, don’t make assumptions and view everyone as an individual. In this group, everyone had to be in a circle and reach for hands across from themselves, and then figure out a way to release the knot.