The event was spearheaded by Kendall Hagar, a special education major who presented to Congress earlier this year urging their support of Project Unify, the national school-based inclusion program. HPUnify is designed to illustrate the principles of Special Olympics’ Project Unify and hopes to create opportunities for lasting friendships while increasing public awareness of the athletes’ capabilities.
“This event brings together the Greek community, the HPU community and the special needs community,” says Hagar. “Each group has something amazing to offer the others, and together we are able to create a model of acceptance and respect for all people.”
This is the second year HPUnify has been held on campus and is a learning opportunity as well as fun for everyone involved. The event provides a safe and welcoming environment for athletes to come and share their love of sports.
“Participating in the HPUnify event has a direct and positive effect on the athletes,” says Carolyn Bruno, parent of Ashley, a Special Olympics athlete. “The HPUnify activities enhance my daughter’s self-esteem and help her to see that she can achieve her goals – whether she attempts turkey bowling, whiffle ball or silly relay races, she can have fun in the attempt while being encouraged by a number of HPU fans cheering loudly. As a parent, I am grateful for the efforts of the HPU students and faculty, as well as the Special Olympics of NC.”