Maui High Receives National Recognition from Special Olympics
Special Olympics Hawai‘i has announced that Maui High School, a Special Olympics Unified Champion School, is receiving National Banner Recognition for its efforts to provide inclusive sports and activities for students with and without disabilities.
Maui High School is receiving this honor as a result of meeting national standards of excellence in the areas of inclusion, advocacy and respect. The school is amongst a select number of schools to receive this distinction nationwide, and the only Hawai‘i school recognized. An award presentation will be scheduled and conducted at Maui High School in the near future.
“We could not be more excited to receive national banner recognition and to be listed as one of the top 30 schools across the country for our work with Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools,” said Jessica Adkins, advisor for Maui High’s Unified Sports program and Sabers United club.
“The program that we offer at Maui High is one that is making positive changes in the lives of everyone it reaches. Inclusion is the outcome of our program but what the students are walking away with are life skills such as learning how to advocate for themselves and others, learning how to relate to others, knowing how and when to show empathy, understanding that everyone has strengths and weakness and that their voice matters. I am extremely proud of the current and former students who have made the program thrive,” said Adkins.
Jamie Yap, Principal at Maui High School, attributes the achievement to the work of Adkins. “The growth and success of this program at our school is a direct result of the the persistence and dedication from Ms. Adkins and her students,” Yap states. “We applaud Adkins’ passion, commitment, vision and leadership in promoting inclusion and tirelessly creating learning opportunities and memorable experiences for our students that are priceless. We also thank Special Olympics Hawaii for this recognition and for their ongoing advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities through sports. We look forward to continued participation and collaboration with this wonderful organization.”
Around 50 schools are currently participating in Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools programming in Hawaii, as part of more than 6,000 schools across the country engaged in the program. Special Olympics has a global goal of creating 10,000 Unified Champion Schools by 2020.
More information about Special Olympics Hawai‘i can be found online.