WALLA WALLA, WA. - A Whitman College student is being recognized for performing life-changing work for children around the world.
On November 7th., Sarah Cronk will receive the World of Children Award, often known as the Nobel Prize for Child Advocates.
Cronk founded The Sparkle Effect,
a non-profit organization that has helped to create over 100 inclusive
cheerleading and dance teams in schools across the country. Whitman College says Cronk grew up seeing children with disabilities being excluded from high school sports and activities. A year later she formed her organization.
Cronk will also receive a $35,000 grant to help expand the impact of The Sparkle Effect.
"Students participating on inclusive teams are
breaking down social barriers, creating harmony among classmates,
replacing insecurity with confidence and joy, and demonstrating that
when we open our minds and our hearts to people of all abilities,
everyone benefits," Cronk said.
Cronk plans to use the grant to generate an
additional 100 inclusive teams and provide uniforms and on-site teacher
training for 2,000 students.