Special Olympics Global Messenger Speaks
“It changed my life and my attitude,” said Dorothy, a Stewart Home & School athlete and Global Messenger. “I have been going strong for a while now.” According to Special Olympics’ website, changing people’s lives is one mission of the athlete leadership programs.
“Everybody at the Special Olympics office helped and they help me feel more confident,” Dorothy said. Dorothy has been working on this speech for weeks during her training at the Special Olympics offices in Frankfort. “We’re so excited to have Dorothy be the opening speaker at our Opening Ceremonies this year. It’s been great to see how much she’s progressed over her time in the Global Messengers program. She’s worked really hard on this and I know she’s going to do a great job,” said Special Olympics President and CEO Trish Mazzoni.
Dorothy has been a special olympics athlete for many years and has recently become a Global Messenger for Special Olympics Kentucky. The Global Messenger Program trains athletes to be public speakers and leaders in Special Olympics Kentucky. Some of their opportunities are giving speeches to schools, civic organizations, businesses, group homes, and other locations for the purpose of improving public relations, recruiting new athletes, coaches and volunteers, as well as fundraising. Dorothy spoke at opening ceremonies for the Special Olympics Kentucky State Games on Friday night at Eastern Kentucky University, representing all Kentucky athletes.
“I was a little nervous, but Trish Mazzoni (SO president) inspired me a lot. She is a hero to me, as are those at the Special Olympics office,” said Dorothy.
Currently there are more than 20 athletes trained as Global Messengers across the state of Kentucky as a part of Athlete Leadership Programs (ALPs), according to the Special Olympics website. These programs provide training and support for athletes who desire to expand their participation in Special Olympics both on and off the competition field. Some of their training includes holding positions of leadership and influence. “It is making a big step to become a Global Messenger. Others look up to me and I try to encourage others and make sure I introduce myself to others,” said Dorothy.
Dorothy was chosen to speak at opening ceremonies based upon an assignment she had during training. “Our group spoke about summer games and they liked it so much they asked me to speak,” she said. “It blew me away.”
Stewart Home & School has had many athletes participate in the state games over the year, but never has a student spoken at opening ceremonies.
“We are thrilled that Dorothy has been selected to be the first speaker at the Kentucky Special Olympics opening ceremony of the Summer games this year! She was the mayor of Stewart Home School several years ago and her public speaking skills and confidence before our assemblies served to help in her training as a Global Messenger for Special Olympics! We could not be prouder that one of our leaders has become one of their leaders!” said Stewart Home & School Director Sandra Bell.