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Unity Awards. Celebrating those creating a world without bullying.

— 2023 Unity Award Recipient —

Cara Montgomery

Zeeland, MI

Cara Montgomery is a behavior interventionist and former special education teacher who has spearheaded the creation of a Unified Basketball Team within the middle schools of the West Ottawa Public Schools in Zeeland, Michigan. The team consists of students with disabilities along with near peer student athlete mentors who play together and compete against other Unified Teams in the area. This team has become an integral part of middle school and given these team members the opportunity to thrive. At a time when so much negativity permeates our country—acceptance and inclusion are becoming the norm within this school community. The shift in the school's culture has been palpable. Games have been a highlight of the school year with large crowds of students and community members attending. Recently, there was a “Staff vs. Unified” basketball game that fired up the entire student body. Cara is also responsible for the school's “Links Program”, which matches a near peer student to a student with a special need. These students attend class together, build relationships and encourage each other throughout their day. Cara saw the need for these programs that focus on building a positive culture and was determined to find a way to bring these projects to fruition.

Cara is absolutely deserving of this award and honor. Nominated by Ann Mireles

Quotes from 2023 Unity Award Recipient

Why are you personally passionate about addressing bullying and promoting inclusion?

Promoting inclusion has always been a passion of mine. When we allow ourselves to take risks and get to know others for who they are and for what makes each individual unique, we grow as individuals while creating inclusive communities.

Why is it important to create a world without bullying?

It is critical to work towards creating a world without bullying. Kindness and respect towards one another truly matters.