Once shy and quiet, Melajah Delgado of Charlotte is now one of the more boisterous players on her Special Olympics Mecklenburg County Eagles softball team, always cheering on her teammates as they round the bases. Melajah began participating in Special Olympics since 2007 when she entered high school and immediately her self-esteem got a lift.
“Her self-confidence has really improved over the seven years I’ve known her, said Beverly McDonald “Coach B”, Melajah’s Special Olympics softball coach and school teacher. “Her verbal and social skills have grown tremendously too. She has many, many friends now and is not afraid to speak up. Special Olympics has been a huge part of her life and continues to be even now that she has graduated from high school.
Melajah has competed in a wide variety of sports including aquatics, athletics, basketball, bocce, bowling, cheerleading, and most recently tennis. She isn’t afraid to try new things and learn new skills. Swimming was brand new to Melajah five years ago but today she is a fast and very graceful swimmer. She really commits herself to her sport and her team and rarely ever misses a practice.
“She always tries her best in everything,” said “Coach B”. “She shows great sportsmanship too. On the softball field she’s doesn’t get upset when a ball isn’t hit to her but handles it so gracefully. However if she does get a hold of one, it will fly! She really gets along great with all her teammates.”
Melajah will never forget winning a gold medal in cheerleading at the Special Olympics NC state-level Basketball & Cheerleading Tournament several years ago. The Special Olympics Mecklenburg County Flying Eagles were a very tight knight group of friends that worked extremely hard in practice. The team only competed one season but boy did they make it count.
“It is Melajah’s all-time favorite Special Olympics experience,” recalled her mother Amedia White. “It was amazing to see her and her friends work so hard for something and then to actually earn that gold medal! They even got their photo printed in the newspaper! We were all so proud!”
In addition to participating in Special Olympics, Melajah stays active in the community. She volunteers in the dining department at a nursing care facility near her home. She also works at Wendy’s restaurant.
Congratulations Melajah Delgado, the 2014 Special Olympics NC September “Athlete of the Month”!