‘Beavers Got Talent’ shows off hidden abilities and benefits kids

Sam Ramirez gets a work out every Friday afternoon during OSU's IMPACT program. He likes basketball and just "playing around" with his friends.

The annual talent show,  “The Other Side,” now known as “Beavers Got Talent,” showcases the “other” talents of OSU student athletes talents apart from sports. This year Oregon State Athletics put on their Eighth show raising money to benefit OSU IMPACT, Individualized Movement and Physical Activity for Children Today.  It’s a program of the College of Health and Human Sciences that provides motor skill development, socialization, and family support for children and young adults with special needs

Eleven-year-old Sam Ramirez, a participant in IMPACT, has spina bifida, a deformation of his spine. He’s been in a wheel chair since he was just one and a half years old and at two-years old, he joined IMPACT.  The program is  managed by graduate students in the college’s highly respected Movement Studies in Disability program.

Every Friday at the Women’s Building on campus, undergraduate students – as well as volunteers are assigned to one of the 80 children aged 12 months to 21 years old to receive individual attention and support. “Each child is partnered with an Oregon State student, and those students work one-on-one with the child in a typical swim and run program,” says IMPACT director Jeff McCubbin.  The program includes eight sessions each academic term and costs $0 per child.  Jeff McCubbin speaks of the effect that this show has on these children in the clip Special-needs children see benefits from “Beavers Got Talent”.

Ashley Berry (pictured above) and Emily Olsen of OSU's Cross Country and Track & Field give an amazing duet performance to win the show.

“For some of our families, that’s more than they’re able to afford easily. And therefore, we try to find other ways to support the program.” That’s where Oregon State athletics comes into play with Beavers Got Talent.  “I thought it went very well,” says organizer Linda Johnson. “We always have a few ah-ha moments with our talent because this is not their first line of work at Oregon State.”

In year’s past, the show has raised more than $1,000, which goes towards scholarships for IMPACT. For Sam Ramirez and other special needs children, that means they can play in the pool. “It’s cool to look up,” says Sam.  “It looks like an entire thing of water just going like this (waving along)”.

The show allows student athletes to display their other talents, beyond sports, in a competition against other athletic teams. “The athletic department has put this talent show on for almost a decade now and it is always a great time,” said Oregon State junior and SAAC representative Jonnie Motomochi. “They have the talent show for athletes to give back to the community and raise money for IMPACT as well.”

Check out some clips from “Beavers got talent”

The Winning Performance- Ashley Berry and Emily Olsen