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Special Olympics Virginia Athlete Marks a Milestone for Congressional Fellowship

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Last night, at the U.S. Capitol, Special Olympics International Global Messenger David Egan was recognized and celebrated for his work serving as a Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Public Policy Fellow from February 2015 to February 2016. This historic event marked the first time in 20 years, a person with an intellectual disability was selected to serve as a Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Public Policy Fellow! In his remarks, David thanked his employer CBRE who gave him a leave of absence to be a fellow and acknowledged his mentor and friend Greg Jones with whom he worked for the past 20 years. David said, "Among us this evening, are many champions those with and without disabilities joining hands to improve our lives and our society. My heartfelt thanks to each one of you. You believed in me; you had expectations of me and trusted that I would not let you down. You supported me throughout my life and especially this past year, engaging me in meaningful public policy efforts." The purpose of the Fellowship is to prepare both early career and more seasoned leaders to assume leadership in the public policy arena in their home state and/or nationally. During his fellowship, David served as an aide to the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, working on the Committee on Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over benefits and support for people with disabilities. He supported the committee by helping inform the legislative process and be the voice for people with intellectual disabilities. He also worked with the National Down Syndrome Society Public Policy Center (NDSS), leading the team effort in writing a resource guide for employers. "The NDSS and many others like me - believe that we, people with Down syndrome, are valued, able and ready to work!" said David. "My dream is about improving the lives of people with disabilities. My dream came almost true with the fellowship. My dream is a dream of advocacy, following in the vision of Eunice Kennedy Shriver the founder of Special Olympics. She asked heads of states, legislators, influential people, athletes and fans like you to promote inclusion and dignity in our world. Her words and call for justice resonate in my heart, as I quote: “The right to play in any playing field, you have earned it; The right to have a job, you have earned it; The right to be anyone’s neighbor, you have earned it.”

About Me:

I am the Director of Global Media and Public Relations for Special Olympics.