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Westfield State’s Lyndsey Nunes to receive Game Changer award through Center for Human Development

Westfield State University’s Lyndsey Nunes will receive a Game Changer award in recognition of her work with local youths through the Center for Human Development (CHD) and the Springfield Thunderbirds. The award will be presented to Nunes on Saturday, December 8 at the Thunderbirds game, which faces off at 7:05 p.m. at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield.

Nunes, a resident of West Springfield, is the program coordinator of the Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative (ICEI) partnership program at Westfield State. This program offers classes and campus experience to students ages 18–22 with significant limitations in intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior.

The goal of the program is to enhance these students’ independence and quality of life through this college experience. The program began in 2013 with just five students enrolled and has since grown to 33 students enrolled in the 2018–19 academic year.

“Professors have told me that their classes have a stronger sense of community, their teaching styles have improved, and the levels of acceptance grow when they have had students from the ICEI program in their classes,” said Nunes. “It is teaching them by example and exposure that inclusion and acceptance is a critical pillar in our future. This award is a reflection of the commitment that Westfield State has to inclusive education and all of our students.”

The Springfield Thunderbirds partner with CHD to spotlight a “Game Changer” at each home game. A “Game Changer” is someone the Thunderbirds acknowledge for making an extraordinary difference to improve the lives of those around them.