NEW YORK, April 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Special Olympics North Carolina will be recognized by Mutual of America for its Project UNIFY program during a special hometown luncheon and award presentation at the Park Alumni Center in Raleigh on Thursday, April 21 at 12:00 p.m.
The program was named a Merit Finalist Award recipient in Mutual of America's 2015 Community Partnership Award competition, which received entries from organizations nationwide. As one of 10 finalists in the competition, Special Olympics North Carolina received a monetary award from Mutual of America.
Special Olympics Project UNIFY aims to build closer ties between students with and without intellectual disabilities through structured sports and socialization activities. Special Olympics North Carolina has been at the forefront of Project UNIFY initiatives, partnering with more than 235 elementary, middle and high schools to provide student leadership development and materials. In exchange, the state's public schools offer sports training, transportation, facilities and student volunteers to support the program.
More than 70,000 students have benefited from Project UNIFY. In a 2014 survey of students, 75 percent with intellectual disabilities believe inclusion programming has helped reduce bullying; 67 percent of students among the general population said they now have a better understanding of individuals with intellectual disabilities as a result of Project UNIFY.
"Project UNIFY was inspired by a simple principle: that training and playing together is a quick and natural path to friendship and understanding that can last a lifetime," said Keith Fishburne, President and Chief Executive Officer of Special Olympics North Carolina. "We're looking forward to empowering more students to put an end to bullying so that people with intellectual disabilities can live with the respect, dignity and opportunity they deserve."
About the Mutual of America Community Partnership Award
The Mutual of America Community Partnership Award annually honors the outstanding contributions that 10 nonprofit organizations, in partnership with public, private and other social sector organizations, make to society. Last year, Mutual of America celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Community Partnership Award. Since 1996, 200 partnerships from cities and towns across America have been recognized. To learn more, visit mutualofamerica.com/cpa. To watch videos of all 20 national award-winning programs, visit the official YouTube channel for the Mutual of America Foundation Community Partnership Award.
About Mutual of America
Mutual of America specializes in providing retirement products and services to organizations and their employees, as well as to individuals. Since 1945, Mutual of America has remained committed to offering plan sponsors, plan participants and individuals carefully selected, quality products and services at a competitive price and the personal attention they need to help build and preserve assets for a financially secure future. For more information, visit mutualofamerica.com.
SOURCE Mutual of America