Paving the way for athlete leadership

Recently, Montana Wilson and Angela Phipps loaded up and headed toward Indianapolis to Butler State University. 

Wilson is Washington County’s first athlete to enroll at Special Olympics Indiana’s Athlete Leadership Program, better known as ALPs. The two-tear program offers majors in four leadership categories: communication, sports, governance, and health and fitness. In coming years Special Olympics Indiana will focus on athlete involvement in the leadership of county programs. Wilson will be part of Washington County’s first step in that area, with other athletes to follow. 

With the help of his mentor, Angela Phipps, who is also assistant Washington County Coordinator, Wilson has decided on not one, but two majors: sports, with emphases on coaching, and communication, which will hone his skills as a public speaker. Wilson has always helped and encouraged his fellow athletes, so it is only natural that he pioneer this new aspect to Washington County’s program. 

Wilson developed a mission statement during his first session with ALPs which reads, “My strengths are leading and helping others. I like to help out in my community. I want to tell new athletes about Special Olympics. I want to tell people to volunteer and support the athletes.”

This program is made possible by community donations. For more information on Washington County Special Olympics and the opportunities it provides, or for ways to support this program, please contact Ray Owen, Washington County coordinator, at


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