UW-W senior raises $135,000 for Special Olympics

Catherine Smith, Lifestyle Editor

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater senior Alyssa Bohm emceed the Special Olympics Wisconsin Truck Convoy in Richfield, Wisconsin on Sept. 16.

“This event is absolutely incredible, it is a fundraiser for Special Olympics Wisconsin where truck drivers from all over volunteer themselves and their trucks for the day and convoy from Richfield to Oshkosh,” Bohm said.

Through Bohm’s personal efforts, she has raised awareness and opportunities for individuals with special needs, rigorously. Since the start of her year as Miss Harbor Cities 2017, Bohm has raised over $135,000 for the Special Olympics.

“I teared up about four times that day just seeing the hundreds of people that gave up their day to come and support Special Olympics athletes. It was an amazing day I will never forget and I was honored to have been apart of it again.”

As the reigning Miss Harbor Cities 2017, Bohm accomplished more things than most adults could dream of. Since 2015, Bohm traveled across the State of Wisconsin advocating on behalf of the Miss America Organization and also for her personal platform “Enhancing Opportunities for Youth with Special Needs.”

Not only does Bohm’s efforts go noticeable with a crown, but off as well. As the current UW-Whitewater Special Olympics Student Organization President, Bohm has contributed to the famous UW-W’s Special Olympics Football Camps. With a third year success, students who participate in the event cherish the time spent with the National Champions and feel included, which is Bohm’s overall goal.

“The main goal of the organization is to create inclusion and enhance opportunities for all individuals to succeed in life through sports, communication and leadership,” she said. “I have taken over the organization as an independent leader for the second year now and let me tell you, it has been such a blast!”

Bohm’s initiatives have been noticed not only on campus, but in her local community of Racine.

“Every year I volunteer for my communities Thanksgiving Day free meal event that allows anyone in Racine Wisconsin to enjoy a home cooked Thanksgiving dinner,” she said. “The event unites our city and gives individuals a chance to communicate with others in a new way.”

Bohm hopes to one day continue the legacy of her platform on a national level, to really share her experiences and express her passion for special needs organizations and personal story and relate to each individual.

“My Aunt Cindy has a mental disability,” she said. “When I was a child, I looked up to my Aunt Cindy, she went on trips and attended all holidays with us. I never saw her as someone who has a disability, until I was older, which helped me realize what I want to do in life. Cindy has inspired me to give others with special needs the opportunities to do great things and enjoy life. She is the true inspiration.”

Bohm hopes to continue her path, post college, as a Special Education teacher while continuing her advocacy on behalf of the amazing and cherished people within the special education spectrum.