SUCCESS STORY: BRIGHT HARP
Sharing Caring and Daring
In 2008, Bright Harp Individualized Residential Alternative (IRA) was the first Unique People Services’ Developmental Disabilities Program residence to participate in events in the New York Special Olympics. At the time UPS’ Special Olympics Training Club consisted of only four (4) female athletes lead by Lisa Paige, Medicaid Service Coordinator and New York Certified Special Olympics Coach. Since then, it has grown to twenty-five (25) co-ed athletes. This is largely due to strong administrative support and encouragement of other residences to participate in the Special Olympics events. To date, other UPS staff members have become certified coaches: Elouise President, Milagros Alvira and Glyne Gittens.
Cheered on by caring staff, peers and Coach Paige, our athletes do very well!!!! In 2009, UPS’ Special Olympics athletes won gold medals and were featured in the Jamaican Times. The activities that the UPS Special Olympics Training Club participates in are: track and field, softball skills and bowling.
Tennis anyone? Ever looking to the future, Coach Paige has her eyes on adding athletes to the Training Club and expanding our participation in other events. One such event is…. Tennis. In September 2011, the Special Olympics Regional Office donated tennis equipment at no cost to UPS.
Prior to participation in the Special Olympics, active community involvement has always been a huge part of integrating Individuals receiving services into the community. Bright Harp’s activities include trips to museums, zoos, libraries, theaters, and other venues. Our Individuals thoroughly enjoy their independence out in the community. Their experience in the UPS Special Olympics Training Club continues to be one of sharing and caring and they dare to do their best!