As the 2019 Fall Pledge Class Namesake Honoree Brother Allen Wong, D.D.S. challenges the Fall 2019 pledge class to expand their service by partnering with the Special Olympics. Below is his challenge.

To the new Fall 2019 members of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity,

Congratulations on choosing to join Alpha Phi Omega this fall. By choosing our great Fraternity, you have taken the first step in your lifelong journey of Leadership, Friendship and Service. You have committed yourself to learning the traditions of APO, the Principles for which we stand and sharing the connections for building brotherhood and our Fraternity. Let me be one of the first outside your chapter to welcome you to what I hope will be one of the most impactful experiences of your college career.

APO is an open and inclusive organization that strives to improve the world through the connections our members and partners make through service. Inclusivity for and awareness of people with disabilities is an area of service that aligns with the Fraternity’s values and an area where we can make a difference alongside an organization near and dear to my journey as a leader in service.

More than 50 years ago, Special Olympics launched a global movement to break down barriers and end discrimination against people with disabilities. By playing and leading together, Special Olympics is leading the way by creating an inclusive and welcoming world for all. Through programming in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics is tackling the inactivity, stigma, isolation and injustice that people who are differently-abled face. Their work goes far beyond sports events, driving social change that enables full social participation for people of all abilities.

This fall, I challenge the 2019 Fall Pledge Class to find ways to celebrate, support and empower people of all abilities by partnering with the Special Olympics. 

The motto of Special Olympics is “let me win, but if I can’t win, let me be brave in the attempt.”  This motto embodies the courage and determination it takes for individuals to do their best, and the success is in entering the race and displaying good sportsmanship rather than being number one.

I challenge you to be a fan for those with needs different than your own and be of service in a way that brings better and more opportunities to our friends and neighbors who are disabled. These athletes want respect and inclusion, and as APO members, we can be their champions.

Some simple but powerful ways you can serve is by volunteering, as chapter or individual, for a Special Olympics sporting event, or by creating disability etiquette awareness in your community. You can serve as a coach, a unified partner, a pre-health volunteer through the Healthy Athletes Program or simply find a way to spread the mission of the Special Olympics on your campus and in your community.

As a pledge class, let’s empower these amazing athletes to discover new strengths and abilities, skills and successes. Together we can inspire our communities to open their hearts to a wider world of human talents and potential. We have the power to transform lives.

Learn more about the Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org.

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