From Daddy’s Princess to Homecoming Queen

High school senior Jessica Giddens has down syndrome, but don’t think that is keeping her from achieving her dreams. Friday night her life changed forever when she was crowned Homecoming Queen for Lakeside High School in Georgia. Jessica proudly walked down the field on the arm of her father who fought in Afghanistan, but made it home to see his daughters dreams come true.

“When I became daddy’s little princess, I just turned into this queen,” Jessica said.

Support from her family, friends, and community lead Jessica to achieving her dream. “Her disabilities don’t limit her, and there’s so much that she brings and she’s full of spirit and she’s just awesome to be around,” stated friend Bailey Doss.

Inclusion of others no matter what their disability is focused on by Special Olympics. Project Unify promotes communities to work together to create a change in society giving respect, dignity, and becoming an advocate for people with intellectual disabilities.

Flag Football Tourney

Special Olympics Louisiana will host a Unified Flag Football Tournament this Sunday (November 4th) in Lafayette, LA.  Eight teams will compete in a single-elimination tournament that will start at 8:30am and last till about 4pm.  This event will be held at the Comeaux Recreation Center, 411 West Bluebird Drive, Lafayette, LA 70508.

We invite all to come out, cheer on our athletes and watch some football!  We are looking for some additional referees, so if you would like to volunteer for this event please send an email to Craig Oser,

A Very Special Christmas

It’s never too early to listen to Christmas music, so this year begin the season with Special Olympic’s “A Very Special Christmas” album. For 25 years, people worldwide have been supporting Special Olympics with the help of artists ranging from Christina Aguilera to OneRepublic and Martina McBride. Everyday, “A Very Special Christmas” impacts lives all around the world helping to launch programs for people in intellectual disabilities.



Support and buy this year’s 25th anniversary album today!

Get to Know Jed Collins

We asked New Orleans Saints Fullback, Jed Collins, to answer some fun questions for us.  He discusses his favorite Saints memory, what he wants to do after football, and even his favorite movie.  Check out Jed’s answers below!

What is your favorite movie?Jed Collins
One of my favorite movies growing up has to be “Major Payne.”  My brothers and I can quote that entire movie.

What is your favorite quote?
“Proud of the past, Focused on the future, Enjoying the Now”

Who was your favorite player growing up?
I always like watching Jeremy Shockey because of his personality and his hair definitely inspired me to grow mine out. But, I was more of a basketball fan growing up and my favorite was “The Admiral” David Robinson. I heard he could walk the length of a basketball court on his hands and always thought that was cool.

Favorite Saints memory?
It has to be the play Drew [Brees] broke Dan Marino’s 27 year old Season passing record. I got to be in on the play, and to be a part of history is something I will never forget.

Do you have any hobbies?
Right now, my interest is reading all kinds of things. From Biographies about great coaches like John Wooden, popular trilogy Hunger Games, to sports psychology books. My other interest is finance. I would like to become a Certified Financial Planner when I am done playing to assist players in how to handle their financial futures.

What gives you inspiration?
Right now my inspiration is to focus on the positives in life!

A huge thanks to Jed for taking the time to answer our questions!  Good luck to Jed and the rest of the New Orleans Saints as they take on the Denver Broncos this Sunday!  WHO DAT?!

A Night of ‘Fireworks’

Recently, Comedy Central, aired a special titled “Night of Too Many Stars.”  This program was focused on raising funds for people with autism.

During the show, Jodi DiPiazza joined recording artist, Katy Perry on stage to perform Perry’s hit, “Firework.”  The video focuses on DiPiazza’s musical ability, which her teachers and parents found out at a young age, rather than her struggle with autism.

Click the picture below to view this great video of Jodi DiPiazza and Katy Perry performing “Firework!”

Katy Perry and Jodi DiPiazza



State Fall Classic Recap

As most of you know our 2012 State Fall Classic took place this past weekend in Carencro, LA.  Close to 400 athletes from all across this state of Louisiana participated in aquatics, horseshoes, and softball!

When asked what his favorite part of the weekend was, Channing Ewing, an athlete from our Northwest Area, stated “I really enjoyed meeting former NFL quarterback Jake Delhomme.            I thought Jake was great honorary coach! He even had a little humor when he mentioned that the officials were NOT replacements!! I really liked Jake because he played for the Saints and the Ragin Cajuns!!! I really enjoyed talking sports with him.”

Please stay tuned to our website and all of our social media pages for upcoming events in your area!




State Fall Classic starts TODAY

State Fall Classic officially begins today!  We are very excited to kick off this event in Carencro, LA.  Athletes will be competing in aquatics, horseshoes, and softball.  If you would like to volunteer, please come out to Pelican Park and register at the volunteer registration table located inside of the gates.

Opening Ceremonies starts at 6pm and will take place at Pelican Park.  We invite everyone to come out and cheer on our athletes as they parade in for the games!

Competition will begin at 8am tomorrow.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter, @SOLouisiana, as we will be tweeting about State Fall Classic!  Be sure to use #SOLASFC when tweeting.

SO College

SO College is program that partners colleges with Special Olympic athletes.  Ultimately, it unites college students to enhance the lives of people with intellectual disabilities through sports, friendship, advocacy and other activities.

We recently sat down with Samantha McMillan, who oversees SO College for Special Olympics Louisiana to ask her some questions about this great program.

How many colleges in Louisiana are taking part in this program?
“There are three (3) officially recognized colleges in Louisiana and they are, Louisiana State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, and McNeese State University.”
Why is it important?
“SO College is important because it expands the Project Unify movement, makes young adults aware of our athletes, while teaching understanding of inclusiveness, and promoting respect.”
What are the types of events that can take place within SO College?
“Anything to promote inclusiveness, and it does not have to be a competition.  Some colleges hold rallies or dances on their campus’ so that people with and without an intellectual disability can participate.”

Read more about SO College here.