SONC is being represented Wednesday on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., along with US Programs from all over the USA in meetings with Congressional delegations to thank them for support of Special Olympics health and education initiatives. Special Olympics Athletes Kristine Hughes of Cary and Natalie Robins of Wilmington are leading the NC group along with SONC President Keith L. Fishburne and SONC Senior Vice President Kelly Vaughn.
During a kickoff dinner Tuesday evening for the delegates, US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos attended to hear first-hand from athletes, partners, family members, and Special Olympics leadership the impact Special Olympics has made on their lives and why continued federal support is critical to our work in education and schools. Secretary DeVos attended at the invitation of Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver. This was the first time a current US Secretary of Education has participated in the Special Olympics Capitol Hill Day visit.
For nearly a decade, the US Department of Education has supported the work of the Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools programming, and we have worked with several Secretaries of Education during that time. Consistent with that history of collaboration, Special Olympics looks forward to the opportunity to work with and educate Secretary DeVos and members of Congress to create more unified and inclusive schools in our country. As a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, Special Olympics’ priority is, and always will be, improving the lives of our athletes, their families, and our peers.