Farewell to the GYAS

The day is finally upon us – we have to bid farewell to all of our amazing youth leaders and chaperones and officially close the 2013 Special Olympics Global Youth Activation Summit.

The past 10 days have been energetic, thought provoking, inspiring and amazing. These passionate youth leaders from around the world are primed to make positive change in their communities and are ready to promote acceptance, respect and dignity for all people.

As we close out the 2013 GYAS, I wanted to leave you with a few words from Sashi Montaña and Brina Maxino of the Philippines. These dynamic and effervescent young women were elected by their peers to serve as the co-chairs for the 2013 – 2015 GYAS. In this role, they’ll help guide their fellow youth leaders in activating Special Olympics around the world and help to plan for the 2015 GYAS in Los Angles, California.

“My name is Sashi Montaña, youth partner for the Global Youth Activation Summit (GYAS), and I am writing this together with Brina Maxino, Special Olympics athlete, and we are from the Philippines.

We are thrilled and very honored to be elected as the co-chairs for the next GYAS in Los Angeles, World Summer Games 2015! We are beyond grateful for this opportunity to be part of this wonderful movement. We will continue to strive to do our best always.


During the GYAS, we have learned many valuable and practical things and we have made awesome new friends from different delegations around the world who share the same mission and vision. We have created such beautiful memories together that we will never forget! It would be an understatement to say that it has been such an AMAZING summit!
We have definitely caught on the fire of Special Olympics and we want to pass it on to others as it was passed on to us. We want to lead and activate other youth like us to be agents of change.

Brina and I may not be as experienced and skilled as others may be because of their long involvement with Special Olympics, but we learned that what matters most is our hearts. We have the hearts to change the world. We believe that a difference can be made in this world if we have the love and the courage to help, be selfless, and do all that we can do. We will achieve our responsibilities with positive, motivated and changed hearts.

Many believe in us, we believe in ourselves and we believe in each other.”

Their spirit, passion and dedication is a true representation of the power and determination of our GYAS youth leaders.

Good luck to all as you head home to change the world!


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