Beyond sports events, one of the ways that Special Olympics Minnesota is building an inclusive world is through Athlete Leadership. This program helps athletes develop their leadership skills. We offer education, provide practical experience and work with existing leaders to help create inclusive environments.


Leadership University

July 12-14, 2024
Bethel University, St. Paul, MN

Registration deadline: Friday, June 21 Monday, June 24, 2024
Download Leadership University info packet (PDF)

This July, get ready for summer school! Leadership University is a weekend-long retreat beginning Friday afternoon and ending Sunday. The event features multiple majors, fun elective courses and fantastic opportunities for athlete leaders to connect. Tuition and lodging cost $30.00 per person (all meals, overnight lodging and learning sessions included). Please note that athletes and Learning Partners need to be 18 years old or older.

To ensure the best possible experience for each participant, athlete leaders are required to attend Leadership University with a Learning Partner (mentor or Unified partner.) Do you need support finding someone to attend with you? Email [email protected].

101 – Health Messenger
102 – LETR Ambassador
103 – Career Development
104 – Inclusive Mindsets and Behaviors
105 – Healthy Minds
106 – Keeping up with Public Transportation
107 – Intro to Photography
108 – Ready, set, grow! Intro to Gardening

Through the Athlete Leadership program, I have done things that I would never have dreamed of getting to do. To name a few, I have made Public Service Announcements and Plunged with sports celebrities and executives, I have had fun with pro team mascots at different events, and I have even done a television interview. My newest endeavor is helping to start our Athlete Leadership Council. The Athlete Leadership program has helped me dream big and build my confidence.

Erik, Athlete Leader

I absolutely love being a part of the Athlete Leadership program, it gives me a chance to have my voice heard, utilize my leadership skills to spread the message of Special Olympics Minnesota. It also gives me a chance to give back to Special Olympics. I have discovered my passion for Public Speaking through being involved in the Athlete Leadership program.

Nell, Athlete Leader

Questions? Contact Nell Coonen-Korte:
[email protected]