The Sixty Second Fundraiser!


A poster made by the students in Swanson’s classroom advocating the Unified Sports Program. Each hand represents a student and their unified partner. Photo credit to Abigail Nucci.

Abigail Nucci, VHS Writer

Every year, Verrado High School’s life skills program holds a fundraiser called, “The One Minute Challenge.” During advisory, every student is asked to bring as much spare change as they can to donate in support of the fundraiser.

“This is my first year doing the one minute challenge, and I am really excited,” senior Benjamin Nucci said. “I love all the sports and fun things that I get to do in Unified Sports. We get to go on field trips to play sports, and it is really fun. My favorite is bowling. I have a fun partner named Kyle. I hope we get to keep playing all my favorite sports.”

Special Education teacher Nick Swanson is the head of the program at Verrado and has been involved with the program for almost 10 years. His students compete in the Unified Sports day, representing Verrado High School, and have brought home many medals.

“Unified Sports provides a typical high school experience that my students couldn’t otherwise obtain,” Swanson said. “The program combines athletes with and without intellectual disabilities. It promotes tolerance, acceptance, and typical sporting experiences. We have monthly sporting events that everyone, students, parents, and staff, look forward to.”

The One Minute Challenge is not only a fundraiser, but also an awareness campaign. The special education program at Verrado wants to discontinue the hurtful use of the “r-word” that is commonly associated with students who have disabilities.

“I have worked with the disabled kids at Verrado basically my entire high school career, and I have gotten to know them very well,” varsity baseball pitcher and Senior Kyle Wellman said. “My unified partner, Ben Nucci, is a really awesome guy. Each of these special needs students have their own interests and specialties and hobbies. None of them are the “r-word” and it is time to stop saying that word to describe anything.”

Verrado’s Life Skills program is happy to have completed another successful one minute challenge. If you are interested in joining the Unified Sports Program to be involved in fundraisers like the “One Minute Challenge,” contact Nick Swanson via email!