Voorhees High School’s motto “We are One School- Choose To Include” says it all! Voorhees is a school where everyone believes that inclusion is not a box to check, but a mindset to live; a true Unified Champion School!

Starting with a Unified Basketball team and a small club in 2017, in just over three years, Voorhees High School now offers three Unified Sports, a Unified Leadership Class which enrolls nearly 10% of the school population, regular school wide awareness events and social outings, as well as an annual Unified 5k. Last year the student leaders put on their first Unified theater production, Suesical, which packed the house and truly blew away people’s misconceptions for what young people with ID can do.  The Voorhees Unified Sports banquet also packs the room with over 200 attendees.  At Voorhees, you no longer join Unified, you just happen to go to a school that IS Unified.

In 2019, Voorhees was one of the first school’s in New Jersey to receive UCS National Banner Recognition, meeting the 10 national standards of excellence for a Unified Champion School. As Unified athlete and youth leader Dan Jordan says, in a Unified School, “we are all winners!

What Unified Means to Us by Kaitlyn Collins, Angela D’Armiento, Melissa Haines, Kelly Anne Kieffer, and Rebecca Schaefer- Voorhees High School Unified Leadership Team

To us, Unified means family. We choose to include, and we see, accept, and respect all differences. We continue to pave the path for the Unified Generation each and every day. We are leading the charge to re-imagine and create communities in which all people are included and accepted. At Voorhees you are not alone and you will be found. We want you to take pride in representing Voorhees as a valued member of our Unified Generation because you never know who you will find.

Let’s hear what some Voorhees Unified Youth Leaders say about what Unified means to them!

There are not many clubs in high school that can compare to the level of impact that Unified has had on my life and the many others who have participated in it. It is so much more than how it seems on the surface, and every year it grows into something new that is somehow even bigger and better than before. My favorite part about Unified is that instead of a singular club it has basically branched out into many different facets of activities that all have the same underlying characteristic of inclusion. This would include ties with the drama club, sports, charities, and social hang outs. Due to the size of Unified at our school, there are not many people that don’t consider themselves a part of the club in some way or another. Our sports games are packed with fans and we even had to have an encore of our first musical that we performed last year. Some of the best people I have ever met have been in the club, and I have formed bonds and relationships that I will not soon forget. During my four years at Voorhees high school I have witnessed Unified become something nobody thought was even possible, and it has been my joy and privilege to aid it in its journey as much I could. Thanks to Unified, I already feel like I have made a difference in the world around me, and in the future I hope to make an even bigger one with skills and knowledge that I obtained from the club.
– Alex Warner

The Voorhees Unified community values kindness and inclusivity and has spread them schoolwide. I marvel at the teachers’ patience and compassion for all students, no matter their differences. I have never been part of a community that is more accepting. It has made me, one of the shyest kids in class, brave enough to become a leader. This community has taught me to be kind even when it is not the path everyone takes, to be patient, and to celebrate differences in others and myself. The students make me laugh more than I ever knew I could and to just enjoy life. Being a part of the Voorhees Unified community has forever changed my life and I am so thankful to be a part of it. 
Amelia Puglia

Unified means lots of friends and I like going to the home and away games!
Will Layfield

Unified has been such a blessing for our family.  It has allowed Will to participate in several different sports and activities that he otherwise would not be able to be a part of and he has made friendships with his peers that I hope will continue beyond High school. I know he is looking forward to performing in another Unified Musical! We are truly grateful for all the Unified teachers, peer leaders, students and everyone who comes to the games to cheer for our athletes!
Donna Layfield, Will’s Mom

What Unified Means To Us
by The Sawyer Family

Unified means the world.  
It’s just a small world, without lofty ideals or extravagant dreams. 
It’s a smile, or encouraging words from a peer. 
A gentle hand at the right moment. 
Acts of kindness from familiar faces. 
An opportunity to see in others what is possible. 
From hearts that burst with Love.
Yeah, it’s just a small world. 
And it’s everything. 

Want to learn more about Voorhees Unified? Check out the links below:

How We Started Video: https://youtu.be/TGX8Lwug3SE

Hoops Video Opener 2019: https://youtu.be/jUT3PYZPMXI

Hoops Video Opener 2020: https://vimeo.com/383881691 

Rock your Socks Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXcAVJiyVME&list=PLhlO0gdbJmOOcotRxDRoaHxNT5-Jvuk-6&index=9

Seussical Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXg–LO2wq4&list=PLhlO0gdbJmOOcotRxDRoaHxNT5-Jvuk-6&index=2&t=0s

Plunge Video: https://youtu.be/PZbHmqRflsg 

Where We are Today Fall 2019  Video: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1q1JUoJWfSQFjUUxCb-YG6GuiS4qibbLm/view?usp=sharing

Virtual Autism Awareness Video: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JOSqxmO7-DYi4sN7lIvlm9TGqsXX7ejm/view?usp=sharing

Virtual Epilepsy Awareness Video: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fQfjBCA2SJd0sPH3aYp0MM_tW7QvST2p/view?usp=sharing

Virtual Goodbye Parade: https://vimeo.com/407775172

Unified Banner & Highlights Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfJQLjCevT4&list=PLhlO0gdbJmOOcotRxDRoaHxNT5-Jvuk-6&index=6

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