Special Olympics is empowered by the diverse cohort of youth leaders who tirelessly carry the torch for inclusion and break all barriers to shift mindsets, every single day! Human Race applauds their relentless passion and unconditional dedication to our cause.
Meet three young leaders – with and without intellectual disabilities – who have been unstoppable and unapologetic in their pursuit of a more inclusive world:
- Sili Ah Ching – The Strong-Willed
Sili Ah Ching is a determined individual with extraordinary willpower! He demonstrates the ability to bring great change in this world. As the first athlete from Special Olympics Samoa who was hired as an intern at the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development in Samoa, he paves the way for more training and employment opportunities for young people with intellectual disabilities in the country. He completed his internship and now helps Special Olympics Samoa on an ad-hoc basis with administrative tasks.
- Syed Ali Roshan – The Inspiration for Inclusion
Syed Ali Roshan is a Special Olympics youth leader who works with Haseeb Abbasi, an athlete leader with autism from Pakistan. They’ve worked on multiple projects to advocate for inclusion worldwide and forged a valuable friendship in the process. His advice to the world is – the next time you see someone with an intellectual disability, don’t shun them. Instead, go up to them, talk to them and get to know them. All they really want is an equal opportunity to live, work, play and be treated as equals.
- Isabela Dominique (Sashi) Montaña – The Leader By Example
She’s a pioneer youth leader who has been involved with Special Olympics for almost a decade. Sashi has struggled with bullying and mental health personally, and understands how people with intellectual disabilities feel when bullied. She has represented Special Olympics Asia Pacific at various international platforms, including Global Youth Summits. Among many other honours, she was invited as a special guest to the White House in 2014, hosted by the 44th President and First Lady of the United States, Barack and Michelle Obama to celebrate Generation Unified. Her vision? “I dream of a world where inclusion will no longer be something that we have to advocate for because it will already be the norm.”