This week two Hamilton County teens are representing Indiana at the GenUin Social Impact Summit, part of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
Special Olympics athlete and Noblesville High School graduate Mitch Bonar along with women’s basketball player and Carmel High School graduate Abby Abel worked hard with their mentor — Champions Together director Lee Lonzo — to secure their spot at the summit.
“I am so proud of these two,” Lonzo said. “They have really distinguished themselves. They have made Indiana proud.”
Abel and Bonar are two of the 120 youth leaders from 30 countries selected to attend the summit.
Leaders were selected based on social impact proposals, which they presented at the summit to a panel of judges in the “Pitch Pit” to earn funds for their projects.
The five-day summit consists of training, mentorship, speakers and experiencing the World Games.
Abel and Bonar’s proposal is for a Unified Festival they hope to hold in Hamilton County. The goal it to bring everyone from middle school students to college representatives together to encourage unified events — events that promote inclusion for everyone — for every age.
Abel has worked with Special Olympics throughout her high school career.
“It’s awesome to end what I started at the World Games,” she said. “The best part is seeing where everyone is coming from and how we’re all unified through Special Olympics.”
Throughout the week Bonar received the full superstar treatment, meeting with Mattel Hot Wheels top executive team and Special Olympics chairman Tim Shriver, and that was just first few days.
Bonar said this week has been a blessing.
“This week is going to be awesome,” he said. “I don’t know what I’m most excited about but I know there will be a lot of open hearts.”