About the speaker
Lucy Meyer is the official Spokesperson for the Special Olympics—UNICEF USA Partnership for young people with disabilities. She graduated Alexander Hamilton High School in Los Angeles in June 2019 and is currently taking a double gap year to help children with disabilities around the world. Born with cerebral palsy as a result of oxygen deprivation for five minutes at birth, Lucy has both physical and intellectual disabilities. She has never let her challenges stop her! She works tirelessly to make sure that young people like her, wherever they are around the world, receive quality health and education, and experience the joy of sport and participation in society. She believes that “you are never too young to help children!”
Lucy has served as the UNICEF USA’s Spokesperson for Children with Disabilities since 2013, and as the first-ever Official Spokesperson of the Special Olympics—UNICEF USA Partnership since 2015. Lucy has raised millions of dollars to help children with disabilities, as well as providing advocacy and service. To her, this is just the beginning!
Lucy has spoken at the United Nations, where she addressed the State Conference on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She has taken her message of “Acceptance plus Inclusion equals Progress” to countries around the world including Jamaica, Brazil, Azerbaijan, Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Kosovo with Special Olympics and UNICEF USA. Lucy met with young people in schools, clinics and sporting events. Her visits generated major attention in these countries’ media outlets in support of the partnership of Special Olympics and UNICEF USA. Lucy has spent significant time in Washington DC, meeting with key officials (including President Obama and over 55 sitting U.S. Senators), Ambassadors and USAID officials to advocate for people with disabilities. She also loves speaking with young people at schools in the U.S. and abroad. She has spoken to more than 20,000 students at 100+ schools as well as many other venues across the United States and around the world. As a Special Olympics athlete, she has won five gold medals in swimming. She has been featured in People.com and TeenVogue.com as well as many other print and television outlets. Among the honors that she has received, In November 2017, UNICEF USA presented Lucy with the Helenka Pantaleoni Humanitarian Award at their annual Snowflake Ball in New York and January 2020 the Athletes in Excellence Award presented by the Foundation for Global Sports Development. Click here for a short video of Lucy’s work.
On November 18, 2019, the UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore, appointed Lucy to be a “Champion” member of Generation Unlimited (a partnership between the United Nations and both public and private sector partners to help young people in the developing world reach their full potential). Lucy’s primary focus is providing a transition for young people with disabilities from school to post-secondary education and the workplace to become contributing members of society.
Lucy resides in Los Angeles with her parents, Chuck and Jamie, and their dog, Chewy.