Melissa Reilly was born with Down syndrome. Instead of letting her life’s challenges hold her back, she confronts them head-on and turns them into dreams. Melissa has found a conduit to making her dreams come true. Melissa has been an athlete for over 15-years and enjoys training and competing in swimming, biking, running and skiing. She competes at the state, national and international levels – a highlight of her athletic career was the chance to travel to Nagano, Japan in 2005 as a member of the United States Special Olympics World Winter Games.
Being an athlete has increased Melissa’s confidence. She prides herself in being equal to her peers and has strived for inclusion her entire life. She was fully included in public education from kindergarten through graduation with her class from Acton-Boxborough High School. She recently graduated from Middlesex Community College in their Transition Program. When she is not at school or training for her next competition, Melissa works to give back to Special Olympics as a Global Messenger; an athlete who speaks at public events to tell her story how the organization has improved her life.
Melissa is presently working as an intern for Senator James Eldridge at the State House and continues to take courses at Middlesex Community College. Melissa and her family are grateful to Special Olympics for the incredible impact the organization has made on Melissa’s life.
To help fund athletes like Melissa in sports and speaking programs this holiday season, please click on the graphic below to make a donation.