Unified Student-Athletes Attend Youth Leadership Summit for Unified Champion Schools
CHS Unified student-athletes Kamille Burris, Lia Marquette, Swathi Murali and Rashaan West, and coach Tabatha Bray Gilbert participated in the unified youth summit “Choose to Include” this past Friday at North Penn High School.
The summit convened student-athletes with and without intellectual disabilities to learn about leadership and strategies for making a difference in their school communities through fun, highly interactive and energetic activities. For one of the team building icebreakers, participants created an outfit from toilet paper and Burris fashioned a prom dress.
College students from designated schools helped facilitate the sessions, but the high school students did the talking and sharing. Participants sharpened their leadership, communication and organization skills with the anticipated outcome of students returning to their school to help lead their Unified leadership clubs whose purpose is to promote inclusion at their schools.
The summit brought together nine “Unified Champion” schools from Bucks and Montgomery counties. The “Unified Champion” program promotes social inclusion through intentionally planned and implemented activities affecting systems-wide change. With sports as the foundation, the three- component (Interscholastic Unified Sports, Youth Leadership and Advocacy and Whole School Engagement)model offers a unique combination of effective activities to equip young people with tools and training to create sports, classroom and school climates of acceptance. These are school climates where students with disabilities feel welcome and are routinely included in, and feel a part of, all activities, opportunities and functions.