Can a Few High School Students Change the World? (by Steve Hayward)

Steve1Three years ago during a school assembly at McMinnville High School students spoke up about special needs students being picked on at school. A brave statement that is still creating a positive climate today. I am fortunate enough to know the students who made the stand and grateful to know the students who it impacted.

My family volunteers at McMinnville High School in the life skills class and in support of Project Unify. The life skills class creates a climate of comfort and acceptance while teaching the skills these students need throughout life. Each student receives specialized lesson plans tailored to their needs. Abled students assist with these activities and in turn a bond is created that surpasses the classroom. Project Unify is a national project funded by the Department of Education to bring youth with and without intellectual disabilities together.

This year the life skills students accompanied the students who made the stand at the assembly to senior prom.

Yes! A few high school students can change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but for these students in our life skills class the world is a better place.

 A Look at the Research


This is the article from KATU news covering our students at prom, what a great group of students, an example to be emulated.

Both web sites contain all the information you need to become involved and volunteer at numerous local events.

These are our students, we are so proud of all of them! My family organized a banquet and all of the students received their Varsity letter.

Get involved:

Some of the class is funded through the Department of Education, however the schools can only provide limited support and these classes are in desperate need of volunteers and monetary donations.

Go to the Project Unify or Special Olympics site, follow them on Facebook or Twitter, attend an event, contact your local schools and ask to volunteer.

Follow the example of these high school students and change the world one smile at a time!



  1. Andrew H.

    Steve, great job on both getting the word out about Project Unify and for all your efforts in the program! It sounds like you and your entire family really made a great impact in your community. It’s good to know they have a Facebook account for social media. I’m going now to like the page and get the word out for more support!

  2. Andrew H.

    I also forgot to mention that I really enjoyed reading your blog post. You and your family are a great example of positive influences in our community. If more people reached out to lend a hand for service, we would be living in a much better world. Thanks again!

  3. Tina


    Nice Job on this project! I’m so proud of the work you have done this term. I think the thing I’m the most excited about with your culminating project is that we did the community service together and yet were able to give different views about the same important organization. With everything we have done and been a part of with Project Unify, I can’t wait to see the shenanigans we get into with these kids next school year! Here’s to another exciting leg of this journey, making memories and creating bonds that will last a lifetime.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: