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Blue Gold

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Padua students Katelyn Mcgonigal and Kathleen Melia pose for a photo booth picture at the Blue Gold Luau Prom 2017.

Padua students Katelyn Mcgonigal and Kathleen Melia pose for a photo booth picture at the Blue Gold Luau Prom 2017.

Natalie Onesi

Natalie Onesi

Padua students Katelyn Mcgonigal and Kathleen Melia pose for a photo booth picture at the Blue Gold Luau Prom 2017.

Christina M. '18, Reporter

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Mrs. Kowalski, Blue Gold co-moderator, joined the club when she started teaching at Padua over 20 years ago. “I worked in a public school before Padua and there were several students there with special needs and I always wanted to help them in some way” said Mrs. Kowalski. She, along with Mrs. Pugliese, were able to make the program grow throughout the years. Mrs. Kowalski says “being a part of the club may help someone decide if they want to pursue a career in special education or maybe occupational therapy, as well as raising awareness for difficulties some people face everyday.”

Mrs. Pugliese, co-moderator for Blue Gold, says it teaches the students “leadership, helps them develop friendships, and helps students develop passion and love for both children and adults with special needs.”

The club conducts various events throughout the year to assist organizations for people with special needs. Mrs. Kowalski says “the more interactions we are able to have with people with cognitive and/or physical challenges, the more we can develop a culture of acceptance.”

Senior Natalie Onesi, Delaware state ambassador for the club, says “I knew joining clubs like Blue Gold would help me use my voice to spread a message of an already powerful organization.” Onesi has been an ambassador since her junior year and has been actively engaged in events and programs outside of the Blue Gold at Padua such as at the Mary Campbell Center and The Special Olympics Summer Games. “It’s important to know that the impact we have on the kids is nothing compared to the impact it has on us” said Onesi. She notes how much the program contributes to the participants in the Padua community because the girls leave Padua recognizing the importance of acceptance.

 

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