Shaker’s Mira Ginsburg Recognized for Empowering Others

SHS junior Mira Ginsburg was surprised Jan. 31 with a second scholarship from Special Olympics, which was presented by Special Olympic officials Leigh Howard (third from left) and Chris Hughes (second from left). Joining in celebrating Mira are her polar plunge teammates and SHS teacher Christina Kelley.

Receiving a scholarship from Special Olympics for the second year in a row on Jan. 31 may have completely surprised Shaker junior Mira Ginsburg, but the reasons for the recognition were completely obvious to everyone else.

Mira is credited with more than doubling the number of schools now participating in the annual Lake George Polar Bear Plunge benefiting the Special Olympics, as well as her ongoing commitment to unified sports. She is the co-president of the Shaker Include the Blue Club which focuses on creating an inclusive school environment, and a member of the Capital District Youth Activation Committee for Special Olympics NY which fosters inclusive communities throughout the area.

Chris Hughes, Director of Development and Impact with Special Olympics said the number of school teams participating in the plunge has gone from 3 or 4 to 20 in the last several years with 520 students now participating in the annual plunge fundraising event held at Lake George in Shepherd Park 

“You are a driving force,“ said Leigh Howard, Director of Unified Programs for Special Olympics New York. “Your energy, enthusiasm, passion, and excitement has not just been something important to me, but all the athletes in Special Olympics. You cultivate competition.

“It says more about you than you know,” Ms. Howard added. “You’ve made other people feel incredible.”

Mira was happily taken aback when she entered a SHS conference room to find her polar plunge teammates, school staff, and her parents waiting to greet her. She received her first scholarship during her sophomore year. This year, Mira raised the second most of any student (including female). 

Congratulations Mira!