LOS ANGELES – The Special Olympics is not just about what happens on the playing field but also about bringing positive change through summits.
This year two Filipinos are the co-chairs of the Special Olympics Social Youth Global summit.
Brina Maxino, the 18-year-old from Paranaque, made headlines last year as she dined with President Barack Obama.
Maximo was joined by Unified Partner Sashi Montana.
“It’s hard to believe for us to be here in LA but it’s really amazing,” said Maxino.
Through the Generation United Summit countries sends a team of two: one person with an intellectual disability and a unified partner.
Together they bring up issues and ideas for projects they can bring back to their country.
The top five ideas are shared with a panel of high profile panel of mentors.
The mentors then battle each other for the chance to get involved with the projects.
The Philippines made it to the top five with their project for an eye fair and will get a $3,000 grant.
“We know how important it is to have correct vision to excel in sports but not just in sports but in anything that we do in general,” said Montana.
After a very spirited presentation in front of a celebrity panel, Team Philippines chose Coca Cola CEO Muhtar Kent.
“I love this project,” said Kent to Team Philippines. “I think what you’ve done is brought a real challenge on eyesight and vision together with a challenge for the whole world to create better awareness.”
“He’s an amazing leader and everyone knows Coca Cola. The things that he’s done to get his company where it is right now – we just want to learn from him,” said Montana.
The youth impact summit is a part of Special Olympics events.
After the meetings and planning, Maxino and Montana will spend the rest of the Olympics along with the Philippines team cheering on their fellow kababayans.