Student Emerging Leaders Making a Difference for People with Disabilities (FL UCEDD/LEND)

July 22, 2019

Samantha Meador, center in picture, a graduate of UM Mailman Center's high school leadership program, Student Emerging Leaders Program's (SELP), was honored with the prestigious Silver Knight Award that is given to high school seniors. Yearly, the Miami Herald and Nuevo Herald Silver Knight Award committee selects thirty students. They are honored for academic achievement and community service.

Samantha won in the vocational technical category for her creation of the MAS Respect Club. She created her club to promote awareness and inclusion of individuals with ID/DD. Her club supports the Special Olympics' Spread the Word to End the Word Campaign, and has partnered with nonprofits to host events promoting inclusion. MAS Respect also developed a team to participate in the Down Syndrome Association of Miami's Miracle Walk.

Samantha graduated from Miami Arts Studio high school and will be attending University of Florida in the fall. Samantha plans to study communication sciences and disorders. She has a sister, Sabrina with Down syndrome who Sam credits as influencing her life.