UNICEF USA + SPECIAL OLYMPICS + ME (LUCY!!)
My name is Lucy Meyer and I am proud to be a Spokesperson for Special Olympics and UNICEF USA! Special Olympics promotes unified sports—children with and without disabilities playing together on the same team. This encourages acceptance and inclusion of children with disabilities so that they can grow up to be active participants in their community instead of living in isolation. There is often a strong stigma for children with disabilities and we need to change that. These organizations provide healthcare to children with disabilities. Acceptance and inclusion, access to medical care and protection from extreme prejudices are so important!
I am so excited that two organizations that I love, UNICEF and Special Olympics, are committed to improving the lives of children with disabilities. UNICEF is the most powerful children’s organization in the world. Special Olympics provides healthcare and sports activities to more people with intellectual disabilities than any other organization. I have been a Special Olympics athlete for the past 10 years. It has changed my life and I want all children with disabilities to have this same opportunity.
I am a Special Olympics athlete and have won five gold medals in swimming! I play unified basketball and love it and I know the players without disabilities have a blast too! I know Special Olympics programming is effective in decreasing stigmatization and providing an atmosphere of acceptance and inclusion because that is my experience and the experience of my friends with and without disabilities.
I have cerebral palsy because I didn’t receive oxygen for five minutes at birth. At that time, the doctors said that I would most likely never sit up or swallow. The doctors were wrong! My cerebral palsy affects my eyes and speech a little. My right hand doesn’t work as well as my left, and my right heel won’t touch the ground. School subjects are a little tougher for me, and sometimes my eyes don’t work as well as I would like. But! With a little help, I love to play tennis and soccer. I love to skateboard, bike, surf, run, jump with my friends on the trampoline and my favorite sport is swimming! It means so much to me to compete with Special Olympics. I had never competed or been a part of a sports team before, and I want other children with disabilities to have the same experience.
In June 2019, I graduated high school!!! I got to speak to my classmates and 5,000 others at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. It was an amazing feeling and so cool to get a standing ovation! Here is the link to my speech speech I gave to my class.
I am now working full time until I go to college to help more and more children with disabilities be accepted and included and receive the medical attention that they must have and deserve. I am so excited! If there is a school or other event you’d like me to speak at, click here!
In September 2022, I will continue my education through UCLA Pathways, continue my role as an advocate for UNICEF, Special Olympics and Best Buddies. I am so excited to participate in the Best Buddies Club and the Special Olympics at UCLA Club.
- You can see what I have been up to in this cool Teen Vogue article!
- To lean more, visit my YouTube Channel, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook
I just love doing all of this and I can’t thank you enough for your support! What I want more than anything is for all children with disabilities to be included and for their parents to not be ashamed of them – every child should feel special – it feels so good! Please join me in helping Special Olympics, Best Buddies, and UNICEF USA make a better world for children with disabilities.