Elle has been volunteering with special needs kids for eight years and she’s only 16.
Over her years as a volunteer, she has coached basketball and bowling among other positions. Elle recognized a need—the special needs basketball team her brother was coaching didn’t have a cheerleading squad.
Elle is currently serving as the cheerleading coach for a special needs squad that goes to the Special Olympics every winter. And at 16, she runs the program singlehandedly.
With every athlete she incorporates into her program, she also strives to create community inclusion. Despite the diversity of her squad—a Cerebal Palsy, a wheelchairs, autism—she enthusiastically leads the only special needs squad in the metro west area of Wayland, Mass. Not only are Elle’s cheerleaders benefiting from physical exercise, but they all get a sense of community—something that is extremely difficult to achieve for people with special needs.
Elle does none of this to expand her resume. She does this because she simply likes working with the athletes and takes great pride in their successes each season. Now that’s a true volunteer!