Posted by: sonewjersey | November 28, 2011

Kevin McCormac Honored with Higgins Scholarship

Guest blogger Kevin McCormac was the recipient of the 2011 S. Michael Higgins Scholarship Award, which he received at the Awards Dinner on November 18th. Today, Kevin shares how he felt to be selected for this honor.

Kevin McCormac (holding plaque) with his family
at the 2011 Awards Dinner on November 18th

Hi, my name is Kevin McCormac. I have been participating in Special Olympics as an athlete for 18 years. I’m also a Global Messenger and have given many speeches to promote Special Olympics.

I started in track, where I played for my school – Burlington County Special Services. In 1997, I started playing floor hockey for BCI, which is an independent program. I played for the Phantoms and moved up to the Flyers, the first division team, three years later. I also participate in flag football, basketball, and tennis.

Kevin's Team USA hockey team

In 2009, the Flyers were picked to represent New Jersey at the World Games in Boise, Idaho. It was an awesome experience and an honor to be part of Team USA. There were over 500 athletes from all over the United States participating. We had a week in Colorado for training camp, where we trained and in 2003 my Family was awarded the Family of the Year award, Chapter level.

I thought that was an honor, but in October of this year, I received a letter from Special Olympics New Jersey. Before I opened it, I thought it was about my application for the Athlete Congress. But! When I found out I had won the S. Michael Higgins Scholarship Award, I was very surprised and excited.

I have to tell you, I was very nervous about accepting this prestigious award. I had a great time during dinner and all the award presentations, with family and friends around me.

Kevin and Eric LeGrand at the Awards Dinner

I had the pleasure of meeting Gregg Matteo, a board member sitting at our table, and we had a few laughs. I thought the keynote speaker Eric LeGrand was a great motivator, and after the awards, I had the great pleasure of talking to him and his family. They were very excited about coming out to support us.

Just before it was time to accept my award, my brother Chris, a board member, got up to give a speech. I realized then that his speech was about me. That made me happy.

I am honored to be included with all the distinguished award recipients, one of which I know personally  – Nicole Schroeder, the Bessie Perlman Achievement Award recipient. (Go Nicole!) I send my congratulations to you all!

When I started in Special Olympics, I was very shy. Now I have the confidence to walk up to anyone and have a conversation. Special Olympics has given me many Moms, and many additional family members.

I want to thank the person that nominated me. I appreciate it. I also want to thank all my family and coaches for everything they have helped me with. Thank You!

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