Student Advisory Committee Projects & Stories

Culver Community - SNAP

Story Submitted by: Amber Cowell, SAC Member

At Culver, we have put on multiple events regarding Special Olympics. We have a Special Olympics field day event annually for the past ten years. On top of this, a club exists at Culver which helps raise awareness for others with disabilities, Special Needs Awareness Program (SNAP). SNAP meets monthly to go over ideas, reflect, and put on together and plan events. SNAP put together an all school assembly at Culver. All the students and faculty attended the assembly which is when Craig Tornquist and Andrew Peterson spoke. This all school assembly was one of the most successful events at Culver regarding raising awareness for others with disabilities. It is always helpful to raise funds and put on events, but one of the most important goal if not the most important goal is gaining respect for those with disabilities. The all school assembly allowed an opportunity for the Culver community to reflect and  become aware of actions. When Andrew spoke, you could hear a pin drop. All the students were engaged and respectful. It truly was an incredible experience. The goal of gaining respect and to have individuals no longer use the R-word will be present in the future and I look forward to this day!

Champions Together Experience

Story Submitted By: Kirsten Spangenberg, SAC Member

The other day, someone asked me the question, “What is one activity you’re involved in that you’re probably going to remember forever?” My response was simple, being apart of Champions Together. Two years ago I had never spent any of my time with a Special Olympics athlete, now, its one of my favorite things to do. The athletes remind me why I love sports so much, it’s not always about winning, it’s about being on a team and doing what you love.

I’ve done a few events at my school promoting Champions Together and have had an unbelievable amount of positive outcomes from them. My first event was a competition between 2 schools of who could get the most signatures on our “Spread the Word to End the R-Word” banners at our rival football game. We received 450+ signatures from our two tiny 2A schools!

Recently, I did a fundraiser where we made rally towels with the Champions Together logo on them and had our fans wave them around while we had a Special Olympic scrimmage at the half time of our varsity basketball game. Our cheer block was louder during the Special Olympics scrimmage then they were during our varsity game! We raised $975 that night with the unbelievable support and donations from our fans.

Lastly, my favorite event, polar plunges. I participated in the Valparaiso University plunge the past 2 years and this year was by far my favorite of the two. My goal was to raise $1000 and my team raised a total of $1,750! We were also the biggest group at the plunge with 7 students, our athletic director and even our school board president! That day also accomplished my goal of qualifying my school for a Champions Together banner for our school gym.

Watching our partnership grow more and more each day has been such a fulfilling experience. It’s been a privilege and honor to be apart of Champions Together. It has changed my life in so many different ways; shaping me into the person I am today and making me realize that EVERYONE deserves the chance to be included.