December 20, 2013 | Updated: January 29, 2019

By Ramonica Jones

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas selected Special Olympics Texas as the focus of its Silver Award Service Project! The troop adopted the Notre Dame Saints and Stars Volleyball Team and educated the group about the importance of nutrition and exercise. Kristen Hyman and Ciara Quinn led the project.

"The issue of my Girl Scout Silver Award Project is to inform kids, in particular, kids with special needs, to make healthy choices about exercising and eating healthy," explained Hyman. "I was hoping to impact all the kids I worked with to make healthy choices and work hard in what they do.  We adopted two Special Olympics [Texas] volleyball teams and assisted them at volleyball practices and in their final tournament. Their volleyball skills improved throughout the season.  It was fun to see how well they did in the final tournament."

Hyman and Quinn showed members of the Greater Dallas area delegation how to stretch and shared some volleyball tips with them. They also provided the team with a brochure about healthy choices and delivered a basket full of healthy snacks to them at their last tournament  of the season. The basket included a teddy bear and a personalized mini volleyball.  Hyman and Quinn also learned some very valuable lessons during their project.

"I learned that having a disability does not affect who you are as a person," said Hyman. "They may think differently, but they are the same people on the inside.  I learned to be proud of any accomplishment.  The special needs kids showed me how happy they can be when they learn to serve the volleyball or hit a return. "

Kristen and Ciara are 7th graders at St. Rita Catholic School in Dallas.

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