Michael Fears: Paving the Way for Disabled Children to Have a Normal Life Too

Every once in a while we are lucky enough to find ourselves surrounded by individuals who emit happiness and hope. Michael Fears is a Tampa native who is majoring in Criminology with a minor in Chemistry and Biology. What makes Michael a keystone to Florida State is the organization he works with: Splash Pals.

Splash Pals is the first of it’s kind at FSU. The club meets every Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Leach Pool deck. What the members do on the pool deck, including Michael is truly heroic. The members swim with disabled children for around an hour. Michael emphasizes the importance of the club saying “At Splash Pals we believe that it's good for children to be in a fun and stimulating environment and that everyone deserves equal access to play and exercise.” The ability for disabled children to attend fun programs like this is often disregarded. Michael explains this by saying “people with disabilities often have less access to these opportunities. Sometimes they can’t, or aren’t, allowed to participate in available programs. So we provide an aquatic activity program for children with disabilities where we focus on swimming, exercise, social interaction, and play.” It’s important to have programs that offer opportunities to children who don’t always get them.

The club has its start but Michael believes there is still more to be done. “My goals for the organization are to grow it as much as possible and to create a positive and dedicated culture within the club. The larger we grow, the more kids we can help. And having more kids in the program creates more student volunteer opportunities.”

If you are interested in joining the club anyone that wants to volunteer can come check them out! Feel free to reach out to them at via email and they’ll set you up with all the information you need. And you can look up their website for more information.

All images courtesy of Michael Fears.