Sports helped Dustin find his voice

Special Olympics Southern California’s Dustin Plunkett helps other athletes through the Athlete Leadership program

Growing up, Dustin Plunkett was bullied every day because of his cleft palate and intellectual disability. But he found solace in the Lakewood, Calif. sports program and, through his relationship with Coach Chuck, was introduced to Special Olympics. Dustin found a family and support system in the program, first as an athlete and now as a mentor and coach.

Dustin is a former Special Olympics International Global Messenger who has gone on to manage the Athlete Leadership program for Special Olympics Southern California, which he sees as his way of paying it forward so that others with intellectual disabilities can also find their true potential, confidence and voice, like he did.

Beyond our direct philanthropic support, Bank of America employees have also expanded our volunteerism to support the Athlete Leadership program at a local level.

Kerry Sullivan
President of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation

“After about 20 years of being a Special Olympics athlete, to now working for the organization, it really means a lot to me, because now I get to give back to an organization that has given so much to me,” he said.

Bank of America has been a proud partner of Special Olympics for more than 30 years, helping people with intellectual disabilities become accepted and valued members of their communities. This effort includes Bank of America’s ongoing programmatic support of Special Olympics’ Athlete Leadership program which prepares athletes for leadership roles on and off the playing field. From coaching to athlete input councils, board leadership to Global Messengers, the Athlete Leadership program provide athletes the opportunity to represent the movement and spread the message of inclusion and respect.

“Beyond our direct philanthropic support, Bank of America employees have also expanded our volunteerism to support the Athlete Leadership program at a local level,” said Kerry Sullivan, president of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. “In cities across the U.S. as well as in London, employees of our company have stepped up to serve as mentors, advocates and trainers in the areas of confidence-building, networking, public speaking and financial literacy.”

Bank of America’s long-standing partnership with Special Olympics reflects a companywide commitment to diversity and inclusion, from employing individuals with disabilities to engaging employees through advocacy and volunteerism, to ensuring that products and services are accessible.

7/19/17

 

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