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Campus Conversations with Andi Martin: Becoming a Leader Within Special Olympics

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Getting involved is such an important part of the college experience. Andi Martin, a freshman here at UW, has exemplified this and grown as a leader in her involvement in Special Olympics. Special Olympics is a sports organization for kids and adults with disabilities. Here is her experience in the club so far!

How did you get involved with Special Olympics?

It was one of the tables at the RSO fair during Dawg Days, and I had worked with special needs kids before so that’s why I was interested in it. My parents used to do it in college too. In high school, we had Unified Sports but I never did it because if you did Unified Sports, you couldn’t do a regular sport too. I always wanted to do it and since I’m not playing sports anymore, it seemed like a good time to do it. My parents had so much fun when they did it and I thought it would be cool to do.

What have you learned in the club?

From the first quarter I joined I’ve been a coach, so I guess leadership and responsibility because I have to coach. As a freshman, there’s people on my team that are older than me and that’s a lot of responsibility to seem professional and mature. Since it is Special Olympics, acceptance and inclusion is super important and is super emphasized in anything we do. Everyone there is there to have a good time and there’s no judgment and I think that’s an awesome thing.

How have you grown as a leader?

I’ve definitely done leadership things before. In high school, I was in leadership positions in junior and senior year, but for this I was younger and it was my first time doing this in college. I just joined the club and I didn’t know anyone in it so I think it was a different experience because I was just thrown into it and had to prove myself and really be responsible.

Do you have advice for people looking to become leaders within their RSOs?

If you’re interested, don’t be afraid to ask the people in charge. They’re students too; they’ve got a lot on their plate. I think that a lot of people would really appreciate it if you reached out and asked, because 90% of the time they’re gonna be excited that you’re eager about it. They’re going to want to give you something to do and it will be nice for them to have something off their plate.

What do you hope to accomplish in the future in the club?

I’m applying for one of the officer positions. I want to do the officer of outreach that works with other clubs. Right now, I’m working with the Best Buddies club to have a field day event.

Is there anything else you want people to know?

Don’t be afraid to get involved in anything! Dawg Daze is a good opportunity to find a club. Especially if you have a lot of free time or want to make friends outside of the group that you have, it’s a great way to do it. And there’s a lot of clubs where you’re doing good too, like other service clubs. Get involved and don’t be afraid to ask for leadership opportunities!

Nicole Green

Washington '25

Nicole Green is a freshman at the University of Washington planning to study Public Health. She loves cooking, baking, hiking, traveling, playing volleyball, and spending time with friends and family.
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