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Youth Ambassador

Tajha Ilerant

U.S. Youth Ambassador

Hello! My name is Tajha and I live in beautiful Florida where I am a U.S. Youth Ambassador. I attend my extended transition program at Immokalee Technical College where I am learning culinary arts. I have been involved with Unified Champions Schools for nine years. I am also an intern for Unified Champion Schools, attended the Global Youth Forum, and I am currently an athlete who loves bowling, basketball, and cycling. I am also a Global Messenger for Collier County and a public speaker who advocates for people with disabilities from across the world.
Learn more about Tajha.

U.S. Youth Ambassadors Alumni
  • Britney Bautista Aloha! My name is Britney and I am a freshman at the University of Hawaii Maui. I’ve been involved in Special Olympics Hawaii for the past four years in Unified basketball and track and field. At a young age, I was diagnosed with Hypermelanosis of Ito which caused developmental delays, but I’ve proven to my family and teachers that I can go over and beyond expectations set upon me. Inclusion is important to me because it brings people with and without intellectual disabilities together and we can make long-lasting friendships as equals. As a U.S. Youth Ambassador representing the southwest region of the United States, my main priority is to spread awareness about inclusion in not only my state but also in other states including school districts and communities.
  • Savannah Rock Hello! My name is Savannah and I am currently a sophomore at the University of Northern Colorado. I have been involved with Special Olympics from a very young age. From being a Unified coach, to president of Unified Clubs, to my current role as a youth representative on Colorado’s Board of Directors, it all began with my older brother, Kalin. I have observed that Kalin does not always have as many opportunities as his peers, which I am determined to change through my work as a U.S. Youth Ambassador!
  • Maggie McNellis Hi, my name is Maggie McNellis and I am a freshman at Eastern Illinois University. Currently I’m a U.S. Youth Ambassador for the Midwest. My involvement with Special Olympics includes the annual youth summit. In addition to this, I have engaged with Special Olympics in Hyannis Port and at the Chicago 2019 IYL summit. The inclusion revolution is important because it brings people together. My brother Quinn has Down Syndrome and having the inclusion revolution helps him be happy with who he is. It also gives him opportunities. I want people to ask him how he is doing instead of asking me instead!
  • Donzel Marshall My name is Donzel and I’m a junior at Homewood-Flossmoor High School. I am a U.S. Youth Ambassador for the Midwest Region. Like Maggie, I also participated in the Chicago Inclusive Youth Leadership Summit as well as the annual Special Olympics UCS Summit. I have played golf, track and field, basketball, bowling, and soccer. I have won gold, silver, and bronze medals in soccer, basketball, and bowling. My favorite part of being in Special Olympics is all of the friends I get to be with. The inclusion revolution is important to me because it brings people together. I love being a part of the Special Olympics because I get to do awesome things.
  • Tajha Ilerant Hello! My name is Tajha and I live in beautiful Florida where I am a U.S. Youth Ambassador. I attend my extended transition program at Immokalee Technical College where I am learning culinary arts. I have been involved with Unified Champions Schools for nine years. I am also an intern for Unified Champion Schools, attended the Global Youth Forum, and I am currently an athlete who loves bowling, basketball, and cycling. I am also a Global Messenger for Collier County and a public speaker who advocates for people with disabilities from across the world.
  • William McClennan Hi, my name is William McClennan. I'm currently a senior at Yorktown High School in Arlington Virginia. My first real involvement with Special Olympics Unified Sports was going to the Seattle Special Olympics USA Games representing Virginia in the Youth Leadership Experience with my friend Alex. After that, Alex and I were selected to be the U.S. Youth Ambassadors to the Mid-Atlantic Region as part of the first class of ambassadors. I love all of the big picture stuff, but I think I have the most fun coaching our schools Unified sports (hopefully adding Unified bocce next year). Meaningful inclusion is so important to me because when it’s practiced and implemented you can create a community of respect and acceptance. Creating these communities is really what I see the Unified Generation being, everyone needs a place where they belong.
  • Alex Keith Hi! My name is Alex and I go to the Arlington Career Center where I attend culinary classes! I have been a part of Special Olympics for many years and now I play Unified sports at Yorktown. Some of my favorite sports include track and basketball. As a U.S. Youth Ambassador, I have been able to talk about Unified Champion Schools across the country in cities like San Diego, Seattle, and Washington D.C.
  • Kyle Norman Hi! My name is Kyle. I am a U.S. Youth Ambassador for the Northwest Region. I am a 2019 graduate of Capital High School in Helena, Montana. Capital High School is a Unified Champion School. When I was a student there, I helped plan respect rallies, participated in the Polar Plunge, took a Unified PE class, and participated on the Special Olympics team in Unified basketball, athletics, swimming, and bowling. I am currently working part-time at Optimal Sports Physical Therapy and participating in work experiences. I have attended the Special Olympics National Unified Champion Schools conference in 2016 and 2019. I also represented the state of Montana at Capitol Hill Day in Washington, DC in February 2018. The inclusion revolution is important to me because it is a great movement and I feel it is important to include everyone, with and without disabilities.
  • Jazlyn Young Hi! My name is Jazlyn and I am a Junior at Montana State University in Bozeman. I have been involved with Special Olympics through Unified sports, the state youth activation committee, and volunteering in different capacities. As a US Youth Ambassador, I have had many amazing opportunities so far to learn from others and share my own ideas. Inclusion is something that is important to me because I have seen how big of an impact it can have on people including myself. Through Special Olympics I have gained many new friends and will continue spreading awareness to others on the importance of meaningful inclusion. My hope is that one day meaningful inclusion is just the way of life.
  • Elyse Whittmore Hello, my name is Elyse and I am a senior at Auburn High School in Auburn, MA. I have been involved with the Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools Program for about three years and have been involved with Special Olympics for about seven. At my high school, I participate in Unified Track and my school’s friendship club. I am also a member of my state’s Special Olympics Youth Activation Council. Personally, the inclusion revolution is important to me because EVERYBODY deserves to be meaningfully included into society. Inclusion should be a right, not a privilege! I want to live in a society where the inclusion of people with and without disabilities is second nature.
  • Sydney Meininger Hi, I’m Sydney! I am in the transitions program at Nashoba Regional High where I go to different job sites in my community. I have an intellectual disability called Cat Eye Syndrome. I have been involved in Special Olympics for seven years now. I play soccer, basketball and at school for Unified. I also do basketball, track, and bowling. I am also a part of the Massachusetts state YAC. At my school I am involved in the Best Buddies chapter where I am a communication officer. Inclusion is so important to me because I have been able to make a lot of long-lasting friendships with people in different states. Inclusion is also important to me because everyone is included no matter the disability or not.
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