National University’s Social and Emotional Harmony Program Partners with Special Olympics to Mentor Young Leaders


San Diego, California – February 9, 2022 – Harmony SEL and Inspire Teaching & Learning, affiliate programs of the national university system, have partnered in an initiative to develop youth leadership with Special Olympics Incorporated (SOI). SOI is the global movement liberating the human spirit through the transformative power of inclusion through sport, leadership development, health promotion and school engagement.

Over the next two years, the partnership will focus on the work of Special Olympics Global Youth Leadership, which brings together young leaders with and without intellectual disabilities at nearly 200 global, regional, national and local summits. These summits provide a platform for young leaders to discuss and implement projects focused on relationships and inclusion in their own communities. These youth-led projects range from education-focused projects aimed at promoting inclusive school environments, to recreational activities that bring together young people with and without intellectual disabilities to learn and develop friendships.

Through this partnership, Special Olympics, Harmony SEL and Inspire Teaching & Learning will prioritize the development of relationship and leadership skills in adult mentors who support young leaders with and without intellectual disabilities around the world. Young people with the training and knowledge to lead also need the guidance and support of adult allies to succeed. Through this partnership, an intergenerational leadership initiative will be developed and launched.

“We are thrilled to partner with Special Olympics to bring our Harmony SEL and Inspire Teaching and Learning programs to young leaders. In classrooms and after-school programs nationwide, Harmony and Inspire are helping young leaders from all walks of life learn to lead, collaborate, and build a foundation that will last a lifetime,” said Randy C. Frisch , National’s interim president based in San Diego. University.

Using existing Harmony SEL and Inspire Teaching & Learning programs as a foundation, new training for Special Olympics will be developed to meet the needs and learning styles of young people with and without developmental disabilities. The initiative will build the mentoring and relationship-building capacity of adults, who will then play a critical role in supporting the development of youth in the program as voices and leaders of an inclusive future. Through this partnership, the created program will reach youth and adult leaders around the world, with the goal of training 10,000 young people.

About Special Olympics
Founded in 1968, Special Olympics is a global movement to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. We promote acceptance for all through the power of sport and programming in education, health, and leadership. With over six million athletes and Unified Sports partners in more than 190 countries and territories and over one million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics offers more than 30 Olympic-type sports and more 100,000 games and competitions every year. Engage with us on: Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, instagram, LinkedIn and our blog on medium. Learn more about

About Harmony SEL and Inspire Teaching and Learning
Inspire Teaching & Learning and Harmony SEL are programs affiliated with the National University System. These free programs strive to ensure that every student feels part of a safe and supportive learning community and that every teacher is equipped to create inclusive and engaging learning opportunities. To achieve these goals, Inspire celebrates and supports pre- and in-service educators and staff with online professional development resources and adult SEL opportunities. By providing SEL skills-building experiences in all settings through relationship-focused lessons and activities, Harmony helps students build and maintain relationships, giving them tools to become compassionate and caring adults. . Harmony has been recognized as a CASELect program by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). Learn more about Harmony at and discover Inspire on


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