Scholastic - BE BIG! - Grand Prize Winner

This grand prize winning idea will be honored with a $5,000 community grant from the BE BIG Fund:

Name: Zachary Certner
Age: 16
Team Entry: Individual
Hometown: New Jersey
BIG Idea: Special Needs Athletic Programs (SNAP)

Special Needs Athletic Programs (SNAP Inc) was established to help improve the lives of children who suffer from autism and other disabilities. Autism can prevent children from learning, behaving, and communicating effectively, which often leads to bullying and discrimination. My BIG IDEA was providing special needs children with athletic and social programming, so I could improve their physical abilities, communication skills, and self-esteem.

I created a schedule of sports clinics that have given special needs children the chance to learn and play sports, with peer mentors, in a safe environment. Five years later, we grew from one basic sports clinic to programs in art, music, tae kwon do, yoga, golf and swimming. The beauty of SNAP is its “kids helping kids” approach. My ultimate goal for SNAP is to help create a more empathetic, compassionate and accepting world.

Photo by: Bruce Certner