"We’ve been doing Leadership launches regionally across the state to try and reach as many students as possible," explained Kayla Kuczynski, Unified Champion Schools Coordinator, Special Olympics Michigan.
Special Olympics of Michigan picked four Unified Champion Schools across the state to host separate leadership conferences.
"So we bring a bunch of schools together at our Leadership Launches as a way to connect them with each other and recognize that this Unified movement is bigger than one school, this is a nationwide, worldwide movement to bring social inclusion into our schools, into our communities, and into the world," said Kuczynski.
Stop number four is at Northville High School.
"So we have 15 different school districts here with us. The kids are all split up doing leadership activities and then the liaisons, the coaches, all the staff that are here have been pulled to network, figure out different materials and just how to keep going and spreading the inclusion movement to all these districts," said Kelsey Mikiciuk, NHS Unified Coordinator.
Each school brought a handful of students with and without intellectual disabilities to participate in breakout sessions to identify their own leadership skills and core values.
"We made bracelets with beads. There was a question with sheets about us. If you were a certain thing we put that kind of bead on a string thing. And then we did something with cards, loyalty cards. We started with 20 and then we narrowed it down to 10, then we narrowed it down to 3 cards and those 3 were like about us," explained Jamila, 12th grader at Northville High School.
"I enjoyed the bracelets, it was very well set up, everyone’s bracelets are different. Mine looks much different then Jamila’s, everyone else's looks different, everyone else is different. It was awesome," said David, 12th grader at Northville High School.
"The inclusive leadership, so what that means is when you think of school leaders and leadership you often think of those very top tier students but with this type of leadership through inclusion and Special Olympics anybody can be a leader," said Mikiciuk.
Northville's Inclusion Week will be February 27th thru March 3rd.