After a day spent living out their daydreams by golfing The Olympic Club, top brass from Silicon Valley’s finest companies made it possible for Special Olympics Northern California Schools Partnership Program student-athletes to make their dreams come true. Employees from Adobe, Deloitte, Dun & Bradstreet, Frys.com Open, NetApp and Service Source made sizable donations to Special Olympics Northern California at the annual High Tech Challenge.
Golfers got to know athletes John and Miles on the pristine Lake and Ocean courses and see how Special Olympics athletes are just like them. John participates in Special Olympics Northern California’s general program on nights and weekends and works at Safeway. While only 10 percent of adults with intellectual disabilities are employed, 52 percent of Special Olympics athletes have jobs – just like John. Miles gets the best of both worlds – playing sports in the general program and in the day-time Schools Partnership Program.
After a terrific day of golf, everyone got a taste of the Unified Sports program that’s happening in Oakley and Brentwood. They saw video of how Unified Sports brought two groups of students together and then they got to hear a first-hand account from Dr. Steve Amaro and two Unified Sports student-athletes. This is one of the highlights:
“On our campus, it’s no longer just accepting people of all abilities, it’s about welcoming and appreciating the diversity. Now the general education students are not only aware that the special education student population exists, but they’re also welcoming of those students. Have you ever had a moment in sports that helped define you as a person? Because of Unified Sports, my students are having those moments.”
After seeing how the Schools Partnership Program changes lives and improves campuses for everyone – special education and general education students alike – High Tech Challenge attendees made generous gifts to bring the program to more schools. It costs roughly $500 for a special education classroom to participate in a sports season through the Schools Partnership Program, all of which Special Olympics Northern California provides schools. Thanks to the generosity of the High Tech Challenge attendees, a lot more classrooms will get to compete! Service Source took home the trophy for having the best score!
Thank you to all who made the High Tech Challenge and Unified Sports possible! To make a donation to this life-changing program, please click here. Please visit OlympicClubGolf.org for more information on the High Tech Challenge.