Cherish G. Aperocho, a fourth-year Bachelor of Elementary Education major in Special Education student from the College of Education, represented the University of Santo Tomas in the recently concluded GenUin Special Olympics Social Impact Summit held in Los Angeles, California, from July 23-28, 2015.
Aperocho joined two other Philippine delegates and 117 delegates from 29 other countries in discussing how the hosting of Special Olympics and sports events can promote the inclusion of children with special needs into the society. The Summit brought together delegates “to redefine social change [by making] their communities more inclusive.”
Aperocho, the incumbent President of the Guild of Thomasian SpEducators (GuTS), talked about how the University of Santo Tomas has hosted its own version of the Special Olympics since 2011, and how UST will soon host the fourth installment of the said event. This project served as her project pitch.
Following her presentation, Aperocho was able to secure close to $1,000 in the form of monetary assistance for this year’s Special Olympics. The event is for the benefit of children with special needs and is spearheaded by GuTS, which then taps other student organizations that can provide related services, like physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language pathology
On another note, Aperocho was likewise able to attend the Special Olympics World Games, which brought together children with special needs to engage themselves in sports activities. For this year, the Philippines was able to win 49 gold medals.