Written by McKenna Rawson
My name is McKenna Rawson, I am a senior at Slippery Rock High School. I have been involved with Unified Youth Committee (UYC) and our Interscholastic Unified Sports (IUS) teams for the last three years. Our biggest goal at Slippery Rock has always been to spread social inclusion.
In the past few years we have been able to create lasting memories and friendships through our UYC initiatives. Last year we created a video about “our Special Someone,” this ended up being an award winning video. The video was able to represent the friendships that will be forever valuable to us.
We have also organized an IUS field day with several other local school districts. This allows for our student body to come together as a unified team to participate with other schools in a field day. Activities are selected by our UYC members like the 100 Meter Dash, Obstacle Course, and the Javelin toss as well as many more. These activities are games that we have participated in during our unified physical education class and are able to choose the ones that everyone likes best, allowing for collaboration among the group. Students get T-shirts and Awards. We are looking forward to this year having even more local schools attend.
We have also organized “Spread the Word: Inclusion” Pledge Days, Disabilities Awareness Week, Fans in the Stands with an acoustic hour, as well as the Inclusion Revolution.
One of the most exciting things we have created is our Rock Shop. The Rock Shop allows for us to continue to promote social inclusion through, inviting students to sit and relax to build friendships that are not typically created in a general classroom setting, we also get to work alongside each other while serving snacks and coffee to fellow classmates.
This year, we are excited to host an Inclusion Baseball Game that will involve our baseball team, softball team, IUS teams and other students. The teams will be a variety of students playing together in a fun game that allows students to interact outside of school hours.
My view of inclusion has changed over the past three years because I realized that inclusion has a rippling effect. I started outside small working within the walls of my high school and have realized that it can change the world. I believe that if we keep striving and pushing for social inclusion, the idea of being accepted and included will become the social norm.