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Jackson Escamilla Mid west SPecial olympics Youth aMbassador

Hi, I’m Jackson and I am a Special Olympics youth ambassador and Co-president of our Unified Champions Club with my friend James.

Unifed at homecoming

I am a junior in high school with James

I run Track For Alamo Heights and am also going to do unified sports this year like track.

I have a twin brother with developmental and physical disabilities

Two twin brothers not having it

Having a brother with disabilities has made me more personable and has made me able to connect with everyone with disability or no

I am very outgoing, friendly and huge advocate for people with disabilities

I hope to teach people that having a disability does not make a person different or not able to do things but rather they are capable and determined.

I have made new amazing friendships from being apart of our school's unified program.

Part of unified leadership board

Since I have been apart of our school's unified program I have developed leadership skills and how to correctly advocate for everyone

I am so grateful for having these amazing experiences from being apart of my unified school

January Inclusion Heroes

One show that promotes inclusion is Atypical. Atypical is a Netflix original that is about a young adult (Sam) who is on the spectrum battling with daily challenges with his family and transitioning into college life. Sam has a younger sister casey, mother Elsa, and father Doug. The family has just been split up for some time and are not coming back together. Sam is transitioning to college. His sister Casey is having issues with Sam leaving and the anxiety that follows her. This show does a great job of conveying the message of inclusion and that being different isn’t a bad thing. It also brings the struggles of disabilities to the television sets of many people who otherwise may not ever be around a person with disabilities or take the time to learn about the struggles their family may face together.

One movie that does not promote inclusion is The Truman Show. This movie excluded Truman the main actor from life it self. He is trapped in a perfect town and all of his life is being recorded for other people's entertainment around the world. I think at times this is how it feels when you have a disability. You are watching everyone else live a life around you. I can relate to this as I do have dyslexia and it does take me longer for me to do simple tasks at school like reading, and simply writing this paragraph. I also see this with others with disabilities, this can be frustrating to experience and I think this movie does a good job of betraying this.

February Inclusive artists

Art is a universal way to connect with everyone, know matter your abilities, race, or family background. In my search to find an artist that has overcome these boundaries, I came across an artist named Judith Scott. Judith was born in 1943, this was during a time where inclusion was not as prevalent in our society. Judith was not just a world renowned artist but she overcame the art industry with her unique talents in fiber sculpting. She has a few pieces in museums like the New York Folk museum of art as well as the Brooklyn museum of art.

Another fun fact about Judith Scott is that she had a fraternal twin, as do I. Her overcoming all odds and persevering in something that she loved payed off and paved the path for many aspiring artist with and without disabilities. This shows me that if you want something go get it no matter how difficult it may seem. Judith passed away in 2005 but her legacy still shines on as well as her inspiring story.

March The word RESPECT

Respect is the new R word. We hear this all the time but what does respect really mean. Respect means to me that you respect others no matter their race, gender, disability or background. The word respect needs to become more mainstream and educate the correct way to use the word and where to use it. This will end up eliminating the “old” R word and create a more positive workplace or lifestyle in general.

treating others with respect creates bonds and helps create strong bonds

As we start to use the word respect in our daily life we will notice that we will listen to others opinions, help others in need and other amazing reactions like even making new friends. I challenge everyone to at least try to treat some with more respect then you usually would and start to notice the difference in how they talk and communicate with you!

April Fitness

Being an partner in unified sports as well as playing sports like soccer and track, I believe that fitness is a very important aspect in having a happy and healthy life. For as long as I can remember I have played sports and have tried to stay as active as possible. I have noticed that when I stop exercising for extended periods of time I feel more stressed out and easily overwhelmed.

As time are challenging with covid-19 and when it will be over I have started to get back into a groove of working out and I can feel the difference in my happiness levels as well as being able to have more work on my plate like my special olympics social media group as well as the crazy amount of school work I am getting.

That being said I challenge everyone to get outside even if its going on a walk around the block. My social media team is in the process of creating a weekly workout live stream on the @sonorthamerica instagram page by using special olympics resources like Fit 5 as well as School of Strength! Being apart of these workout sessions have not just been fun, they are spread fitness and making sure everyone get a little fun, easy exercise in by spreading the word of inclusion by doing it (having all assessable exercises!).

Remember to play unified!

May Family

Family is one of the most important things with me other then the lord in my life. My family and I have our bumps in the road like every family does but we always seem to make up as well as become stronger and learn from our mistakes. These family connections will always be with you and you must cherish these time with your loved ones.

During this crazy time of Covid-19 all of us should be grateful for being able to spend more time with our families. This may be a tough time but we get all caught up in life; if its school, work or just friends we took this all for granted until we where no able to see them or do daily activities. We have to stay strong and continue to make these strong family bonds with the family that you are with. Even calling a family member or a close friend can make there day and give them a need boost of happy spirits. remember stay positive and strong we will make it threw these crazy times!!

June Summer Fun

Summer is the most fun part of the year for me, "finally a break from school and sports" but this year it's a little different. Covid-19 is still and issue where I live in Texas so we are not able to go to the beach, hangout with friends or go to country concerts with my friends. This does not mean that we are not able to still have FUN!

Normal summer fishing

Normal picture of summer trip to Wyoming

Picture with the homies during a normal summer

These picture show us what my Summer usually looks like but we are all stuck in the house this summer. This summer I am playing a lot of video games with my friends, gardening and learning new guitar songs! Just because of what's happening and going on in the world today does not mean that we have to be bored and just do nothing. This is the perfect time to rekindle those friendships that may have drifted because you guys where busy, as well as being thankful for your family. This is a rough time for most but this is also a time that we will remember for the rest of our lives and really cherish the happy memories that we created this summer! Summer 2020

Credits:

Created with an image by Hannah Busing - "girl friends hands piled togethger"