I have worked at Special Olympics Virginia for 5 years, and have participated in a lot of events. Today, I want to tell you about one particular event called the Buddy Walk, why I’ve loved participating in this event, and what it means to me to challenge athletes to get involved. This year is the 16thA nnual Buddy Walk presented by Special Olympics Virginia’s Urban Programs. It is 3 mile walk/run on Oct. 22nd at Virginia Union University. I am very excited each year to be a part of this! On arrival we are each assigned a “buddy”. A buddy is an individual with an intellectual disability. If you participate, you may even make new friend. I certainly have! For the past two years I have participated in this event. The reason why I keep participating is because I believe we can change the way others feel about people who may need a little extra help. We all have dreams and ambitions that inspire us. Let us learn to inspire theirs, too! There’s a lot we can learn from our “buddy” during this event. What I have learned is that we all have a voice that needs to be heard. I am helping the Buddy Walk by challenging athletes to get involved. With the help of Senior Director of Urban Programs; Floyd Miller, and Project Unify Coordinator; Pam Mines we are raising the bar this year. We want to do this by getting people to donate to this event and reach our goal of $20,000. I enjoy challenging people because I want to help expand the knowledge of this event, and build a more unified community where we all show compassion for each another.