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, coser@laso.org.

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