HomeExaminerExaminer NewsEighth-grader continues effort to support Special Olympics

Eighth-grader continues effort to support Special Olympics

By Matthew Sockol
Staff Writer

MILLSTONE – Through her support of Special Olympics New Jersey, a young lady in Millstone Township is working to assist children who have special needs.

Sophia Schindel, an eighth-grader at the Millstone Township Middle School, serves on the junior committee of Special Olympics New Jersey and is an ambassador for the American Girl Fashion Show, which raises awareness and funding for the Special Olympics.

Special Olympics is a nonprofit organization that provides sports training and competition to New Jersey children and adults who have intellectual disabilities. There is no cost to the individuals who participate in Special Olympics.

As Sophia works to assist competitors, she is seeking to raise $5,000 for Special Olympics New Jersey. She said that as of Sept. 7, she had received donations in the amount of $1,000.

Donations may be made at https://www.classy.org/fundraise?fcid=706494 or by or a check made payable to Special Olympics New Jersey.

Sophia, who is the daughter of Mark and Mary Schindel, has been an ambassador for the American Girl Fashion Show for three years.

“Throughout those years, I have met amazing girls who compete in the Special Olympics as well as in the fashion show,” Sophia said. “The whole reason why I started helping this cause was because of (a) kindergarten friend … (who) is a very special girl and a great friend.”

Since getting involved with the fashion show, Sophia has raised more than $11,000 for Special Olympics and had the top fundraiser in 2015.

“In my eyes, I see that all of the special needs girls are having a great time,” Sophia said. “This is because they are getting to be the center of attention walking down the runway. All of the Special Olympics athletes who participate love to dress up and model their favorite American Girl doll clothes in the show. I enjoy participating in the show because I like to help others and share in the joy and excitement of the girls.”

In addition to her work as an ambassador, Sophia is a member of Girl Scout Troop 1098 and a helper with Girl Scout Troop 1559, whose members have special needs. She is also active in lacrosse, basketball and cross country, and participated in the middle school play during the past school year.

Sophia said she hopes to continue her support of children who have special needs by becoming a special education instructor.

“Sophia works very hard with her fundraising efforts,” her parents said. “It is nice to see her school is behind her, too. The teachers and staff have helped with her fundraising. We are very proud of Sophia. She has participated for three years and is dedicated to promoting Special Olympics New Jersey in the community.”

The American Girl Doll Fashion Show will take place at the Forsgate Country Club, Monroe Township, on Oct. 16 at a time to be determined, according to Special Olympics New Jersey.

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