Amy Robinson (center) with Lansing Everett Project UNIFY students.

Lansing Everett teacher Amy Robinson has been named the 2016 Project UNIFY® Leadership Award honoree by Special Olympics Michigan. The award is given annually to the person who best exemplifies leadership qualities inside the Project UNIFY program.

Project UNIFY is a K-12 school-focused initiative that brings together students with and without intellectual disabilities through education, sports and youth leadership. Through this initiative, students break down stereotypes and social barriers, building friendships and inclusive communities within their schools.

Special Olympics Michigan staff members, Lansing Public Schools officials, and Project UNIFY students from Lansing Everett High School surprised Robinson with news of the award during school on Monday, May 2.

"It's nice that it means as much to the kids and other people as it does to me," said Robinson. "I have seen so much positive change in our school and it's fun for me to see my deaf and hard of hearing students have friends in the hallway."

Project UNIFY students from Lansing Everett gather to celebrate with teacher Amy Robinson.

Thanks to Amy's leadership, Everett High School has seen its Project UNIFY students make an impact locally, statewide, nationally and at the world level.

Everett's Unified Cheerleading team took part in the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles this past summer. In 2014, two Unified Bowlers from Everett competed in the Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey. And in 2013, Everett's Unified Softball team competed in the Special Olympics North America Softball Invitational in Kansas.

There are currently 170 schools across Michigan taking part in Project UNIFY. To learn more about Project UNIFY or to register your school as a Project UNIFY school, visit www.somi.org/projectunify.