Pep rally held to recognize Brighton High School students for ESPN, Special Olympics honor

Posted at 6:28 PM, Oct 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-22 18:33:44-04

A school in metro Detroit has been awarded one of the highest honors in sports. ESPN and the Special Olympics National has named Brighton High School one of the top five unified schools in the country. 

Brighton students are using sports as a way to include all students, regardless of abilities. 

“Our main mission is inclusion and respect it means so much more than words can’t describe just how everyone feels,” said senior Makenna Willjanen.

On Friday, Oct. 19, the school was named an exemplar school as part of ESPN's Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools National Recognition program. 

Out of the five schools in the country recognized, Brighton is the first school in Michigan. Friday's pep rally not only highlighted inclusion, but celebrated students with special needs. 

“My self-confidence, it’s grown more because I used to not wear shorts, but since I started playing and everything I’m more confident," said junior Amy Jaime. "I’m like, you know what, I’m normal – I can wear shorts you know.”

Students at Brighton hope other schools will create their unified program because they say it's life changing.