Brittanie Guilbeaux Deleted the R-Word

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speaking at Gala

Get Involve and Make a Difference: Delete the R-Word

Brittanie Guilbeaux is not your average teen. She is a humble and optimistic girl with a big goal, and looks forward to changing the future. Brittanie Guilbeaux is seventeen years old; she is a senior that maintains academic excellence at Everett High School, in Lansing Michigan. She participates in numerous amounts of extracurricular activities, one being involved in the Special Olympics Project UNIFIED cheerleading team for three years, serving as mentor. She grew to love the group as she was able to get to know her peers. During practice and performances, she loves seeing her peers come out of their shell, to be able to forget about their disability for a moment, and share their light with her.

Brittnie n Kira pose


Brittnie Kira w two ladies

Brittanie became involved with “Unified Cheer” through Michigan’s Special Olympics Project UNIFY, an organization that uses sports and education to unite people with and without disabilities. Her decision to take part of Project UNIFY’s Unified Cheer has changed her perspective about students with disabilities and she decided to speak on their behalf.

Her beautiful and determined spirit and hard work paid off as she graced the stage with her true heroes, the Unified Cheer Team at the anti-bullying summit held at Harry Hill. They cheered their hearts out in front of the whole crowd. When they finished the crowd roared with pride. Not only had they inspired everyone at the rally, they inspired other schools to be a part of their movement.

Brittanie and her friend, Kira Thatcher took part of a State House hearing, speaking on behalf of their peers with disabilities, to eliminate the “R – word” from all laws in the State of Michigan. They did not know if the bills would pass, but they felt they had to shoot for the stars, so they took what they’ve learned about individuals with disabilities as they testified before the Senate Health Police Committee. Their testimony helped pass Senate Bills 808,809 and 811, which eliminates the words “retard” and “retarded” from all laws in the state of Michigan. On March 28, 2014, both Brittanie and Kira were able to witness Lt. Governor Brian Calley sign the bills into law.

Everett HS students

In recognition for Kira and Brittanie’s involvement in passing the three State Senate Bills, they both were invited to speak at the 4th Annual Inspire Greatness Gala, in Detroit Michigan. Brittanie said, “I see that when students with disabilities have the opportunity to participate in sports, they become more involved in their school and it helps people to overlook the stereotypes”.

Due to Kira and Brittanie’s hard work for Special Olympics Michigan and Special Olympics Project Unify, they were granted tickets to attend the 2015 Special Olympics International Games in California. Brittanie is humbled and appreciative for this opportunity and thanks everyone for giving her the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful achievement. Kira and Brittanie both agree that Project Unity has changed their life.


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