Thursday, October 4, 2007

Global Youth Summit got its start in Anchorage

2007 Special Olympics Global Youth Summit

Today, 58 young people from 16 countries participated in a televised Global Youth Summit. The Youth Summit got its start in Anchorage during the 2001 World Winter Games.

The youth summit concept was developed by Alaskans Nicolle Egan and former Commissioner of Education Shirley Holloway. Alaska’s youth continue their groun-breaking efforts to eliminate barriers and promote partnerships among youth. In Alaska, we have had 5 youth summits since 2001. The next summit takes place next week during the Alaska Association of School Governments fall conference. Alaska youth also participate in Partners Clubs, unified sports teams and unified challenge day. This summer, Special Olympics Alaska hosted Camp Shriver, a two week sports camp for youth with and without intellectual disabilities.

In Shanghai, today’s broadcast offically launched the Special Olympics Youth Fan Club in an MTV-style town hall meeting. These young leaders, include students with and without intellectual disabilities who work in pairs. The fan club goal is to get other to volunteer for Special Olympics, join the campaign to eliminate the “r” word (retard), share their stories and give by raising funds for Special Olympics around the world.

Soeren Palumbo from Illinois is passionate about the campaign to eliminate the “r” word. Read Palumbo’s comments on the topics.

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