Katy Wilson, a Special Olympics Georgia (SOGA) athlete, board member and spokeswoman, will receive an award from the National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) Aug. 1 at its annual convention in Sacramento, Ca.
The award called the 2009 Christian Pueschel Memorial Citizen recognizes an individual with Down Syndrome whose achievements, service, and contributions have enhanced the value and dignity of people with Down Syndrome and their families.
"Katy Wilson's work on behalf of her peers has been exceptional. She has made an impact, whether as a Special Olympics Global Messenger, a valued employee at Ryan's, as a regular speaker to aspiring teachers at Agnes Scott College, or in countless other ways," said National Down Syndrome Congress President F. Brooks Robinson.
Wilson, of Gainesville, Ga., is a Special Olympics gold medalist in gymnastics. In addition to being a mentor, Wilson is also the athlete representative on SOGA's board of directors where she is a policy maker and gives feedback to the board on decisions that affect the 22,769 children and adult athletes in Georgia. She also reviews the organization's quarterly budgets.
As a SOGA spokeswoman, Wilson is a poised individual who serves as a role model, said SOGA CEO Georgia Milton-Sheats. "As a successful and positive person, she is articulate in telling her story, and she has touched many lives," said Milton-Sheats.
Wilson recently helped train five athletes - including two with Down Syndrome - in public speaking, so they can also travel with other SOGA representatives to recruit volunteers and donations around the state. Last March, she traveled to Washington, D.C. with SOGA staff for Capitol Hill Day for Special Olympics, Inc., where she talked with elected officials about how Special Olympics improves the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.
Wilson was nominated by her sister, Melinda Wilson Klinect, a teacher at Brookwood High School in Snellville. "My sister Katy is a well-rounded young person who is busy and happy and loving her life. Katy believes that anything is possible," she said.
Wilson is the daughter of Jeanne and Jerry Wilson, of Gainesville.
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