SOBC Youth Engagement Project 2020-21 champions will lead inclusive initiatives

Special Olympics BC Youth Engagement Project Champions of Inclusion

With the support of the Government of Canada under the Canada Service Corps program, Special Olympics BC is fortunate to be working with an inspiring group of young volunteers on the second SOBC Youth Engagement Project.

As part of this program, youth ages 16 to 29 applied for the opportunity to run an inclusion initiative in their community. They will make a real difference by creating respect and opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities. 

We’re delighted to welcome young leaders from Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Nanaimo, North Vancouver, Penticton, Richmond, Surrey, and Vancouver into this year’s Youth Engagement Project! 

SOBC is so pleased and grateful to have Nathan Burns, Katrina Correa, Kabir Dhaliwal, Sara Dyck, Geraldine Hernandez, Emily Hoppe, Rebecca Lim, Ivneet Lidder, Daniel McClement, Nicolette Rodriguez, and Ysabelle Tumaneng join the program for the first time. And we’re thrilled to have Bremiella De Guzman, Pavneet Kalsi, and Ronak Sheiki returning to the initiative! Please click here to read about their achievements with the first Youth Engagement Project cohort. Please click here to watch De Guzman inspire on Breakfast Television during the 2020 Special Olympics Global Week of Inclusion!

There are still a few openings available for youth who want to change the world by increasing inclusion in their communities. To find out more, please contact SOBC Youth Engagement Project Coordinator Scott Howe by email.

In August, these young leaders began a 10-week project management course through virtual delivery. After completion, they will each organize an initiative in their community to increase inclusion of individuals with intellectual disabilities and awareness of Special Olympics. Each project will address one of three themes:

1. Inclusive Schools 
Special Olympics BC is dedicated to working with School Districts around the province to build Inclusive Schools through sport. Participants choosing this theme have the option of developing in-school 3-on-3 basketball programs, sports-themed ‘try-it days,’ or Spread the Word>>Inclusion campaigns. 

2. Physical Literacy
In Special Olympics BC’s context, physical literacy refers to the extent to which people with intellectual disabilities are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to be physically active. Examples of projects in this theme could include inclusive at-home workouts, educational webinars catering to people with intellectual disabilities, and/or the development of resources that promote physical literacy.

3. Nutrition Literacy 
Nutrition literacy refers to the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand nutrition information and skills needed in order to make appropriate nutrition decisions. In other words, do people have the knowledge needed to know how to eat healthy? Examples of projects in this theme could include at-home cooking classes, educational webinars catering to people with intellectual disabilities, and/or the development of resources that promote nutrition literacy.

Given the current uncertainty about social gatherings in B.C., Nutrition Literacy and Physical Literacy projects will be conducted entirely online. We remain optimistic that in-person Inclusive Schools projects may be possible by the time projects are ready for implementation. However, participants selecting these projects may be required to develop an alternative, such as an online Spread the Word: Inclusion campaign, depending on the provincial health requirements as of January 1, 2021.

Good luck and huge thanks to all of these inspiring changemakers! 

Please click here to read about the impressive individuals who created positive change through the first SOBC Youth Engagement Project in 2019-20.