• Home
  • Tag: 夜上海论坛RE

Special Olympics bronze medalist Kevin Callaghan shares story, confronts labels

first_imgKevin Callaghan, a bronze medalist in the 5,000-meter race at the 2011 Special Olympics, spoke at Saint Mary’s on Wednesday evening regarding his experiences as an athlete. The event, sponsored by Multicultural Services, served as part of the College’s Disability Awareness Week.Saint Mary’s junior Maryselva Albarran Hernandez commented on the significance of the event, saying although there have been many projects promoting diversity and inclusion on campus, there were very few events surrounding disabilities.“We noticed that there were a lot of projects and events happening that were focused on diversity and inclusion in religion, race, ethnicity and LQBTQ issues, but there was nothing for increasing awareness on disabilities,” she said. “This is a big concern because we do have students with disabilities on our campus and it’s important for them to feel included.” Tags: 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games, Disability Awareness Week, Kevin Callaghan, Special Olympics Natalie Weber | The Observer Special Olympian and bronze medalist Kevin Callaghan presents at Saint Mary’s on Wednesday in Vander Vennet Theatre. The event was a part of Saint Mary’s inaugural Diversity Awareness Week.Albarran Hernandez said Callaghan is committed to speaking up and helping others who suffer from intellectual disabilities, similar to those he and his brother face.“He wants to be a role model for those who may not have a voice and wants to be their voice,” she said. “He wants to be able to provide the tools for people to voice their concerns and he wants to motivate others to speak up and I love that about him.”Callaghan was diagnosed with a mild intellectual disability, which he said is nothing more than a label. He said that a disability doesn’t always mean disabled. Every person is gifted in their own way, he said, and trying to live life to its fullest with the talents that they have.“I do things like anyone else, just at a slower pace,” he said. “I can drive a car; I live in my own apartment; I am self-sufficient. It wasn’t easy though, I had to work a lot harder to achieve my goals.”Callaghan said he always enjoyed running and competing. Sports have helped him in many ways, he said, by allowing him to make connections, find his passion and make new friends. One of the biggest highlights of running was the opportunity to compete against other athletes who were just like him.“When I was 10 years old, my parents offered me to be a medical guinea pig and the doctors injected my legs with Botox,” he said. “It worked. The medicine caused my muscles to relax and I was able to walk normally. That may sound like a little thing, but when you have special needs, it’s really important to be as normal as you can be. I decided to try out for my high school’s cross-country team, and I had a great coach who didn’t care about what I couldn’t do — he only cared about what I could do. By the time I was a senior, I was the fastest guy on the team and was voted MVP by the end of the season.”Seven years ago, Callaghan, who wore his Olympic medal around his neck, competed in the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece.“I ran on the same track as Usain Bolt, competed against some of the best Special Olympic athletes in the world and won a bronze medal,” he said.Kevin’s father Jim Callaghan said although it was difficult coming to terms with two of his kids suffering from intellectual disabilities, his greatest goal has always been to make sure his kids were happy. Both of Kevin’s parents became actively involved in the Special Olympics as coaches.“There was an adult special Olympics group, but they didn’t have a kids division,” Jim said. “So, we called the state and said we wanna start a Logan Center kids team. The first year it was only Kevin, the next year it was like, eight kids, and now the program has been running for 20 something years.”Jim said his son is a role model for a number of people and is referred to as ‘the mayor’ by some of his friends because he knows everyone in his town.“It’s not just about me but there are so many stories of people with disabilities,” Kevin said. “I love people and I also have many friends with autism, so I always try to think about how things would affect me if I was in another person’s shoes. If it was up to me, I wish there was a universal healthcare for everybody in the world.”last_img read more

USC urges more participation in annual campaign

first_imgCardinal and gold streamers burst into the air as President C. L. Max Nikias presented a $1.5 million check Tuesday afternoon to USC’s Good Neighbors Campaign, an initiative to raise funding for community outreach from faculty and staff.The check, which will benefit 42 programs, represents the funds yielded from last year’s campaign. It was presented to community partners during the kickoff event for this year’s campaign at Alumni Park.Fundraising · President C. L. Max Nikias and administrators present a $1.5 million check to community partners during this year’s Good Neighbors Campaign kickoff event Tuesday. – Daniel Rothberg | Daily TrojanNikias announced a fundraising goal of $1.6 million for this year’s campaign, which will last through the month of October. The GNC benefits programs aimed at supporting and improving education, safety and health programs in the local community.During his remarks, Nikias applauded the program, founded in 1993, for making lasting differences through funding education programs.“When you read a child a book, he will learn for a day. But if you teach a child to read, he will learn for a lifetime,” Nikias said to an audience of students, university employees and community partners. “Programs like this not only help members of our community reach milestones, but also reach their full potential.”Daniel Zavala, a GNC manager for the USC Radisson, encourages employees, friends and guests to participate in the initiative. Zavala said the program yields positive benefits for the community.“It’s a great opportunity to meet student organizations and after school programs around the neighborhood,” Zavala said.Nikias said though only 40 percent of faculty and staff made a donation last year, he urged greater participation from employees. The $1.6 million goal would be reached if every full-time employee at USC donated $2 a week, Nikias said.“I ask you to ask yourself the following,” Nikias said. “Will I help a child to become the first in her family to attend college? Will I help and reach members of our communities through greater exposure to the arts? Will I help families learn more about wellness so they can lead more healthy lives? And will I help ensure the streets of our neighborhoods remains safe for our residents?”Since 1994, GNC has raised more than $14 million. Thomas Sayles, senior vice president for university relations, said the program is unique to USC.“When I talk to other university leaders they say, ‘Oh, it’s a wonderful program, we should do it.’ But they never do,” Sayles said. “I guess they just don’t have the Trojan spirit to really get it done.”last_img read more