Micheala developed the Canyon View High School Unified Program and Field Day and is the new SOAZ Social Media Intern
Today we are checking in with Micheala Cartrette, a sophomore at Canyon View High School. She recently joined a group of Special Olympics Arizona delegates who traveled to Washington D.C. to the 2020 Capitol Hill Day – and she currently serves as Special Olympics Arizona’s new social media intern.
Let’s get to know a little more about Micheala.
Litchfield Park, AZ
Age – 16
Sophomore, Canyon View High School
How long have you been involved with Special Olympics Arizona? 2 years
How did you get started with Special Olympics Arizona and what activities have you done with SOAZ?
I was introduced to Special Olympics when I was younger and went to the State Olympic Games and realized I wanted to do more. During my Freshman year I became president for the Unified program and am still doing that today.
I also have attended several ESS dances
and competed in several sports, and I helped develop the Canyon View Unified Program and Field day.
What keeps you involved with Special Olympics?
I stay connected with the Special Olympics because I know how much my time and effort means to the students even though it seems simple to me. It can have a major impact on them. If I can show them kindness in a world that isn’t kind to anyone, then I will be that kindness.
You recently traveled to Washington D.C. with a contingent from Special Olympics Arizona – talk about the experience and what you did out there?
Washington D.C. was amazing, getting to share my story with the leaders of our state and with other members of Special Olympics was even better then I could have imagined. I was able to share what Unified has done in my life and the structure of my school, as well as why it is so important to have SOAZ and its impact for so many people. I also got to meet SOAZ President and CEO Jamie Heckerman and Development Coordinator Brenna O’Brien who are the nicest people I have ever met.
What does Unified mean to you?
Unified means the combining of athletes and partners and creating friendships through sports. Unified is where borders are crossed and bridges are built to help make the best high school experience for students with special needs.
What is one thing you want people to know about persons with disabilities?
They are stronger than you could possibly imagine and they are the bravest people you will ever meet. If you give them a chance you will see their light and see that it is the light that this world needs.
In your opinion, why does Inclusion matter?
Inclusion matters because people with ID deserve to be included in things as much as we do. We have the ability to include them in what we do, so why not?
Any funny stories or inspirational stories you can share in your time involved with Special Olympics Arizona?
The student that I am partnered with is both blind and has hearing issues. At the beginning of freshman year she couldn’t be around loud noises without having issues – pulling shirts, hair, anything she could grab. But then we figured out that we both love the same music. She and I would take one step at a time listening to the music on my phone and going through the motions. Now she has almost no issues.
What is a fun fact about you that many people may not know?
I love Mexican candy and put Lucas powder on almost anything.
Horseback riding/ endurance
Being an absolute goof ball
What do you want to do when you graduate from High School?
I want to open my own animal reserve and be a veterinarian without borders. Or work for the federal government supporting humanitarian and animal rights.
Anything else you want to share?
A big thank you to the entire Canyon View Unified family for the support and love that they always show, through good days and bad they are always there for us, and trying to help us stay on the right path for us.