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article by Kyle Faria 

pictures by Darian Barreto

As part of the United Way’s Community Impact Grant that supports the GNBVT Student Mentor Program, students at GNBVT accepted the Polar Plunge challenge to support Special Olympics.  Student Mentors, members of the National Honor Society and Rachel’s Challenge participated and raised over $1500 for the cause.

The Polar Plunge is a wonderful event that helps raise funds for Special Olympics Massachusetts, the state’s largest year-round organization devoted to sports competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.  The plunge is sponsored by the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.

The event took place at East Beach, New Bedford at 11 am and lasted a couple of hours. The day began with breakfast.  During breakfast, NBPD Sergeant Joshua Fernandes and Ellie Machado of Special Olympics Massachusetts spoke to the participants about the cause and safety for afternoon’s activities. Then, it was time for the plunge.  According to Media Technology Sophomore students, Hunter Johnson and Jirelys Figueroa, the entire crowd experienced a mixed bag of emotions — nerves and absolute excitement!  Johnson claims that she couldn’t feel her legs after the plunge.  At the end of the event, awards were given to those who had the best costume, people with the most spirit and those who raised the most money.  

It was a great day and bonding experience for all those who went.  Jirelys Figueroa stated that she was proud to have participated.  She said, “I took the challenge for Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech, for the cause and the people.”