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Project Unified recognized by ESPN for inclusiveness and Special Olympics work

Wake Forest ranked in ESPN's top 5 honor roll schools

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Project Unified recognized by ESPN for inclusiveness and Special Olympics work

Unified Champions club members gather for a special needs dance performance at the rally.

Unified Champions club members gather for a special needs dance performance at the rally.

Unified Champions club members gather for a special needs dance performance at the rally.

Unified Champions club members gather for a special needs dance performance at the rally.

Taylor Roth, Business Manager

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Project Unified is of growing interest within the student body, recently being placed under the spotlight. This year they were selected out of 30 schools in the nation to be the fourth out of five high schools represented as a part of ESPN’s Top 5 National Banner Presentation.

The club offers a chance for special needs students to bond with the larger student body, and make memories while acquiring vast leadership and learning opportunities.

“Being a part of unified champions is like being a part of a big family that works to create the best, most inclusive environment for the students, but we also have so much fun doing it. We all grow so close to each other and the students in the process,” senior Anna Garvey said.

Senior President Olivia Rudolph and Garvey, co-chair of fundraising, have made efforts to make the special needs students feel included in the high school experience with their peers.

“Our school has worked the last four years with all classrooms, sports teams and clubs to bring as much of the student body we could to interact with these students. After all of the work everyone has put in, I really believe the whole school looks at these students as equals rather than seeing them for their differences,” Garvey said

The ESPN National Banner Presentation will give the organization an opportunity to gain publicity for their cause, and highlight the school’s achievement.

“ESPN means for our school that we will be recognized for all the things that our students and teachers have done to make this an inclusive school,” Rudolph said. “Our school has worked to meet the standards of a Unified Champions school because we are student-led, inclusive, and we engage the student body in activities and events.”

The club offers a chance for students to bond with others, make memories, and acquire vast leadership and learning opportunities.

“Being a part of unified champions is like being a part of a big family that works to create the best, most inclusive environment for the students but we also have so much fun doing it. We all grow so close to each other and the students in the process,” Garvey said.

The National Banner Award will give the organization the opportunity to enlighten others seeking out the same mission.

“I hope ESPN’s coverage inspires schools in other parts of the country to form the same kind of club and that it shows them how influential it can be on the students in special needs classrooms and on their families’ lives,” Garvey said.

Club members encourage all other interested students to join the organization to help others and make a positive influence on their lives.

“I would tell any student who is even considering getting involved that they most definitely should. It doesn’t just change the students’ lives, but it also changes yours and how you treat others,” Garvey said. “To get involved, anyone should go down to Mrs. Tucker’s classroom during lunch or a free period and get to know the students. Growing closer with them first opens up a ton of opportunities within the classroom and outside to be more involved.”

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Project Unified recognized by ESPN for inclusiveness and Special Olympics work