How a High School Senior Won Volunteer of the Year

We get to work with so many talented and caring students in our Schools Partnership Program. Whether they spend a morning volunteering or a year starting a club or a sports season on a Unified basketball team – we so appreciate our students!


We’ve featured many of those students on our blog including Claire from California High School in San Ramon! For her outstanding work with the Schools Partnership Program, Claire earned the coveted Special Olympics Northern California Volunteer of the Year Award! She was honored in front of a huge crowd at Opening Ceremonies for Summer Games:


Claire never stops coming up with new ideas. We shared the PowerPoint presentation that Claire created on why you shouldn’t use the R-word. She’s always looking for ways to volunteer and get students involved with Special Olympics in the middle of her busy schedule.


During her chaotic and busy senior year, Claire took her new ideas and commitment to a whole new level. Like all the youth we work with, Claire is a busy individual between school, jobs and various other activities. She decided she wanted to plan an evening rally and invite several schools to attend, not just her own.


For the rally, Claire did ALL the planning and creating ideas on her own. Her level of preparation and planning for the event was extremely detailed. Her planning documents were very impressive and so meticulous you would have thought she was an event professional with many years of experience. The rally was amazing.


She had spectators participate in sports drills that Special Olympics student-athletes participate in, she showed inspiring videos and had various speakers. She also added stations where participants could pledge to not say the R Word, write inspiring notes to athletes and of course donate. Claire does many other things to support the athletes of Special Olympics throughout the year including leading a Polar Plunge team on her school campus and serving on our Youth Activation Committee.


We cannot express in words how busy youth are nowadays and especially youth that are of a service mind, they are spread very thin. We are so fortunate to know Claire and to be able to work with her in the time she did. Claire will continue to be inspired and impressed with what she does in her life. There is no doubt that she will continue her involvement in college. She exemplifies everything we want to see in our youth and the athletes of Special Olympics will continue to benefit from her for years to come.


learn more about the schools partnership program