North Umpqua Unified brings students together

An Elkton High School senior formed North Umpqua Unified to get disabled and able-bodied students working and playing together.

Posted: Mar 6, 2018 5:54 PM
Updated: Mar 6, 2018 6:19 PM

ELKTON, OR. -- An Elkton senior is looking to make a difference in Douglas County by unifying her classmates.

Tuesday morning student at Elkton High School gathered in the gymnasium to have fun and cheer on their friends.

This "Respect Campaign" assembly is part of Emma Burke's senior project called North Umpqua Unified. She wanted to bring together kids from all walks of life after working with those who are disabled.

"I've always had a passion for Special Olympics. I've participated in Roseburg the Douglas ESD PartnerSports camp in the Summer of 2017, and that just really ignited my passion for wanting to work with kids," said Burke.

As a group, they raised more than $4,500 for the Polar Plunge to give back to Special Olympics Oregon, and help them put on assemblies like the one on Tuesday.

A boy they call "Blue" said they have a lot of fun as well.

"Everybody is helping everybody else. So, I like that."

Their partners also enjoy the time they get to spend together.

"I just like the feelings that I get from them. They're always super positive and I like the positive feedback I get from them," said Cassidy Bragg, a partner in North Umpqua Unified.

North Umpqua Unified aims to take a group of their members to the Project Unify Youth Leadership Summit at Oregon State in October and continue to hold monthly meetings and recreational activities.

Kids at Elkton, North Douglas, and Yoncalla High schools in grades 7 through 12 can join North Umpqua Unified.

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