A Valley Stream student’s T-shirt design won first place in a nationwide contest coordinated by a nonprofit that encourages people with disabilities to participate in athletics.
Cy Valentin, 18, an ungraded student in the life skills program at Valley Stream South High School, beat out more than 200 entries in the contest hosted by Achilles International’s Achilles Kids: Run to Learn, a free school program that provides physical activity integrated with educational components.
The program gives kids the opportunity to participate in a “virtual marathon” using a route plotted on a map of their city, with children doing laps equivalent to a portion of the route on a weekly basis. The goal is to have students run, walk or jog 26.2 miles by the school year’s end.
Valentin’s winning design featured three individuals — including a person in a wheelchair — heading toward a finish line featuring a banner that reads: “We’re all champions.” It was created using colored pencils.
For winning, his design was printed on T-shirts distributed to about 12,500 students across 19 states.
“Cy is a determined young man, and his positive energy is contagious,” said Michelle Hoffman, an adapted physical education teacher at Valley Stream South. “He is always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. He is an asset to our school, and we are all very proud of him.”