Savannah Rock Special Olympics North America Regional youth Ambassador

My name is Savannah Rock, I'm from Aurora, Colorado! I am a freshman at the University of Northern Colorado. I'm studying Special Education. I have 4 siblings, one of my siblings has an intellectual disability. He inspired me and helped me find my voice and passion for inclusion.

My experiences!

Middle School

In 6th Grade, I first got introduced to the partners club. After 2 years of struggling with administration not wanting change, I finally started a partner club in my middle school, this was the first unified club and unified events at my school. Our club had about 100 volunteers who wanted to join the movement and became part of the inclusion generation. During the year we had monthly activities and ran the spread the word to end the word campaign. Now my middle school is a unified school. Because of the leadership skills I gained I became a member of Colorado's Youth Activation Committee.

High School

In high school, I went to Grandview High School. Now known as a National Banner School and recognized on the National Top 30 Unified Champion School ESPN Honor Roll. I served as our Unified club co-president for 3 years and served as an officer for 4 years. I helped lead unified leadership trainings, R-word Campaigns, activities, concerts, spirit weeks, school dances, Fans in the Stands, Red Shirt Rookies and Special Olympics Colorado events. I volunteered in Special Education classrooms for 4 years on every off period and also in our Unified PE class for 3 years. During my senior year of high school we had over 30 officers in our unified club. We created a spirit week called Inclusion Week where our school learned to help celebrate differences and to have Inclusion be the new normal. I was a student coach for our Unified Basketball Team which had over 60 players every year for the 3 years I coached. I was a unified partner for Unified Track and Field for 3 years.


After graduating high school, I received the opportunity to serve on the Special Olympics Colorado Board of Directors as a Youth Representative. I am a Unified Champion Schools intern and a Youth Activation Committee mentor. With these opportunities I am able to learn more leadership skills and mentor youth to bring inclusion in their schools. I go to the University of Northern Colorado, where I run our Unified Intramural Leagues and help coach the community teams in Greeley, CO.


My inclusion hero is my mentor Cory Chandler. He had started the Unified Basketball program at my high school. The program grew and evolved to one of the largest Unified programs in the state. My favorite moments working with Cory were when he would always instill the mindset of inclusive play no matter the situation. He taught everyone to have fun, no matter the situation and to focus on playing our way. Our way meant being respectful, great competitors and living inclusively. Our teams had so many spontaneous moments with 60 plus athletes and partners hanging out and having fun both naturally and unstructured. Cory taught us what it meant to be unified and hundreds of his students live their lives with that attitude and make our schools, work and communities a better place.

On a personal note, Cory taught me how to be a coach. As I started 2018-2019 college year I am a coach for multiple unified football and basketball teams. I am using every lesson he taught over the years and our modus operandi is inclusive is top priority, always be a role model, have patience and most importantly teach and have fun. His influence formed the type of coach I am becoming and is helping me structure the right program for our community.

Pop Culture

The good doctor focuses on dr Murphy who is on the Autism spectrum. It showcases how he learns differently, communicates differently yet is a brilliant surgeon and doctor. He constantly has to reprove his worth to every new patient and staff member. It shows people biases towards disabilities. This show really showcases his brilliance and how inclusion in the workplace is.

Special Olympics Colorado in March

2019 Special Olympics World Games!!

Special Olympics Colorado brought two male Athletes to compete in the 2019 World Games. Swimmer, Kyle Visser he is bringing home Gold, Silver, Bronze, and 5th place. Cyclist Jermey McLead bringing home Bronze, 5th place, and 7th place.

SOCO also brought two youth leaders- Mackenzie Beauvais and Enzo Ewari to attend the Global Youth Leadership Forum at World Games. They learned how to help lead the Unified Generation for the next 50 years.

Spread the Word for Inclusion Campaign

Special Olympics Colorado Unified Schools are celebrating inclusion throughout there schools. There is all level of schools- elementary, middle, high school, college putting on the inclusion campaigns this month. Schools are coordinating "Inclusion Week" (spirit week) in there schools where assemblies, unified games, unified activities are happening all week/ month long to bring whole school engagement. SOCO has been to some of our Avalanche and Nuggets games we have set up booths for fans to come and sign the Inclusion Pledge.

Pictures of schools inclusion week.


During flag football season, Special Olympics Colorado hosted Healthy Athletes vision screening (opening eyes) where all of the athletes that were participating during state had a chance to have a vision screening where they were able to get glasses right there. During state, my flag football teams went through the screenings, where they got to learn about how to live healthier lives and what they need to protect themselves. 5 of my athletes had received glasses that day that they never received before. This helped ensure the health of our athletes lives.

With coaching unified sports at UNCO, we are always focused on the well being of our teams. In the begging of our basketball season we started with having healthy athletes screening and focus on how to improve our health throughout the season. We took height, weight, blood pressure and a healthy athletes survey, where they fill out there eating and exercise habits. At the end of the season, we through the health screening again. When looking at the data, almost all of our 60+ athletes and partners have lost weight and changed there excise and eating habits to be healthier.


The Rock Family: 2 parents- Brian, Nancy, 4 siblings- Luis, Valerie, Kalin, Brandi, 1 neice - Alara, 3 dogs- Leo, Buddha, Star, 3 cats- Magic, Senyor, Caspur

3 uncles, 4 aunts, and countless number of cousins.

My family does their best to embrace inclusive behaviors by leading by example and exemplifying the best ways to live in an inclusive world. We live by the ideals of inclusiveness and in our interactions with our friends and social networks we influence others to improve inclusiveness in families, community, church, schools and social networks.

Inclusive Summer

Ideas of how you can be inclusive even when school is out:

  • Invite fellow athletes to go do some summer things like:
  • Go to the Pool
  • Go to the Beach
  • Go to a Park
  • Go see a Movie
  • Go Bowling
  • Be a fan in the stand or volunteer at your Special Olympics summer sports competitions
  • Host a ice cream social
  • Music at a park
  • Volunteer at a summer camp for people with intellectual disabilities.
  • Number one thing to do is always keep in contact with your fellow athletes/classmates


One of my favorite summer songs is "Here with me" by Marshmello

Ways artists can #choosetoinclude is making sure to be an advocate with there songs or music videos to always include everyone.


My advice to class two is to continue doing great work, you were picked to be a Youth Ambassador because you are the leaders of the unified generation. If you get overwhelmed or need anything don't be afraid to ask for help. Enjoy you're time as a youth ambassador it is an honor and I'm so glad you are all part of it. You are going to and are changing the world. Keep striving and working hard :)

Inclusion Hero

A hero that inspires me to be my best self and to always follow inclusion is my dad. He inspires me everyday with what he does and how he is always trying to make every ones life better and full of happiness. He strives to do whatever he can to make sure my brother will always be included, he teaches me how to advocate and how to always spread inclusion wherever I go. He is my inspiration and I strive to be like him. He is someone I am very thankful for.


Courage means the ability to do something that frightens one. I time where I felt courageous and I was proud to promote inclusion is one of my first conferences for Special Olympics last year. I had a presentation that I was presenting about inclusion trying to advocate that inclusion in schools starts with being student led in front of all adults. Public speaking usually frightens me but when I started talking about inclusion and the unified generation I gained the courage and shared my presentation. I was proud that I was able to promote inclusion and hopefully changed peoples mind.

Created By
Savannah Rock