SPOKANE, Wash. - On Sunday, Gonzaga University graduated their biggest class of seniors ever. Among them, two incredible women who made it their mission to make sure the quietest voices in their community had the chance to be heard.
Gonzaga students Megan Edmonds and Haley Bentler are now headed into the real world. But before graduation, they capped off their year with one very important project.
GUSR, or Gonzaga University Specialized Recreation, creates an atmosphere where people with disabilities can feel welcome, respected and loved.20152850
"GUSR brings students and people with disabilities from around Spokane together in friendship and community and focusing on abilities," Megan explained.
Every year the program holds a play to celebrate the unique abilities of those in GUSR.
"The play is something we do where you partner a student and a participant up and the student helps them do their lines and figure out where to go on stage," Megan said. "We did our final production last week of Robin Hood and it was a lot of fun."
To get ready for the play, the group holds practice with the participants two nights a week.
"It's just kind of like hang out, have fun. We make arts and crafts, we play games, we run through the play. It's just more of, like, building friendships and having a good time," Haley said.
Megan and Haley are both coordinators for the program. Haley was inspired to join when she attended one of the GUSR plays her sophomore year. But Megan had a different reason.
"I grew up with a brother who has disabilities," she said.
Even at a very young age, she noticed people treated her brother differently and asked her mother why.
"She said that sometimes people don't see the brother that I see, and that it was important to let people know who he was," Megan said.
Together Megan and Haley have pushed to make every voice heard at Gonzaga, and they will continue their mission after graduation.