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Frazee, LP-A students selected for Special Olympics committee

Laicy Somerville, a senior at Lake Park-Audubon High School, and Maggie Wothe, a freshman at Frazee-Vergas High School, have been selected to join the Special Olympics Minnesota Youth Activation Committee, a group of student leaders with and without intellectual disabilities who seek to promote unity and inclusion in their schools and communities.

The Youth Activation Committee is composed of 18 students from throughout Minnesota who are interested in social justice and advocacy. Group members develop their leadership skills while finding ways to help their communities become more inclusive for individuals of all ability levels.

The Youth Activation Committee integrates strategies for inclusive leadership, ensuring that youth with and without intellectual disabilities not only design and facilitate each meeting, but can also co-create solutions to the social justice and school climate challenges they face in their schools and hometowns.

The committee is open to youth ages 14-21 who are selected based on an application and reference letter. Applications for the 2011-2012 Youth Activation Committee are available on the Special Olympics Minnesota website. This is the first year for Minnesota's Youth Activation Committee, which is funded in part through Project UNIFY.

Somerville, 18, says participating as an athlete in Special Olympics is one of her favorite things to do. She has been active in many Special Olympics Minnesota sports competitions including bowling, athletics and gymnastics, and she has also attended Summer Sports Camp.

Wothe, 15, is an active Special Olympics Minnesota volunteer and supporter. She serves as a junior coach for the Perham Special Olympics team and is an active volunteer with its gymnastics program. Wothe's sister Amanda is a Special Olympics athlete whom she credits for her enthusiasm for the organization.