One national winner and four regional winners from around the country were selected from students ages eight to 18 for their involvement with Special Olympics and other organizations that are designed to create more accepting communities.
Our national Lovin' Award recipient is Maggie Leppert, 17, of Belle Meade N.J. Maggie was nominated for her profound commitment to social justice and inclusion, exemplified through her work as the founder of her schools' Project UNIFY and for her role as an advocate of acceptance and dignity for her peers with intellectual disabilities. Project UNIFY is an education and sports based program focused on increasing athletic and leadership opportunities for students with and without intellectual disabilities.
|Maggie Leppert (rt) and Ethan|
|Maggie (rt) and Andrew|
|Maggie & fellow volunteer at "Spread the Word" pledge table|
As the national award winner, Ms. Leppert will receive an engraved plaque, certificates for a one year supply of Lovin' Scoopful ice cream, a $100 gift card, the opportunity to compose multiple blog postings throughout the year, a letter of commendation from Maria Shriver, and a $500 donation for her chosen nonprofit organization.
The regional winners are:
◦Christopher Yao, 17, of Jericho, N.Y., was nominated for his dedication to helping children in developing countries who could not afford cleft surgeries, post-treatments, and therapies. Christopher began Kids Change the World, a nonprofit organization to leverage the power of motivated young individuals to change the world for causes they cared about. To date, his charity has funded approximately 70 cleft surgeries for children in developing countries. More information regarding kids change the world can be found at www.kidschangetheworld.org.
|Michaela Morris (rt) and friend|
|Taylor Swarers and training athletes|
|Lindsey Mendelsberg and friends|
The Lovin' Award winners were selected by a panel of judges, including Maria Shriver and Tim Shriver, for exemplifying characteristics that promote human rights, inclusion, equality and leadership through education. For more information about the national and regional winners, visit http://www.lovinaward.com/.
Thank you to all that nominated someone! We will soon begin accepting early nominations for our 2015 Lovin' Awards. Visit our Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/LovinScoopful) for details in upcoming weeks.