Acceptance Is: Inclusion
Never, ever, underestimate your opponent.
It’s a mistake made all too often while sizing up Logan Alvarez, a proud graduate of Miami’s Southridge High School and winner of the 2019 Heisman High School Scholarship presented by Acceptance Insurance.
At center and long-snapper, he’s relished every opportunity to wield his small stature as his greatest advantage on the football field.
“That was always my skill: I was always under-estimated, and that’s where I made my biggest impact,” said Logan, who weighed in at just 220 pounds. The average weight of the high school defensive lineman is 315 pounds.
A multi-sport scholar-athlete, Logan became a full-time varsity starter and offensive captain of his high school football team by his junior year. Off the field, he served as class president and maintained a 4.0 unweighted GPA while volunteering nearly 1,000 hours as a passionate advocate for inclusion.
“I’m very big in fighting for inclusion and fighting for everybody who doesn’t have a voice and speaking up for those who can’t,” said Logan.
Logan’s lifelong conviction started at home, long before he wore number 54 for the Southridge Spartans. Growing up with a disabled father, a sister with special medical needs, and a mother who taught students with developmental disabilities, he learned early on the importance of giving others the opportunity to shine. He began volunteering with the Special Olympics at just seven years old.
“In high school, it was always my goal to make a unified team where everyone was included from any background. And it was such a diverse school that it really gave people an opportunity to be themselves,” said Logan.
At Southridge, he organized Special Olympics softball, basketball, soccer, and flag football competitions for elementary through high school students. Logan also volunteered his time organizing toy drives for special needs students. And he served as president of the Best Buddies program, which promotes one-to-one friendships between students with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities.
His campaign for inclusion led Logan to sponsor a month-long effort to end the use of the “R-word” among his peers and promote acceptance of others.
He was hosting a Special Olympics basketball event at his school when he’d found out he won the Heisman High School Scholarship national award.
“even if you think you can’t make an impact, you can.”
“We knew the exact time they’d release the results, so I stepped outside with my mom,” Logan recalled. “We saw that we won, and I remember my dad calling right then and crying. It was definitely one of the most amazing moments of my life.”
Like all Heisman High School Scholarship applicants, Logan took the Acceptance Pledge – a promise to treat others with the dignity and respect that everyone deserves.
“In the world today, there are too many injustices that occur,” he said. “The Acceptance Pledge really elevates the impact they’re making, especially for those of us who applied. It tells people to use their voice. And even if you think you can’t make an impact, you can.”
Despite the complications of graduating during a pandemic, Logan still has his eye on a college football career. He maintains a daily workout routine. And he’s hungry for his next opportunity to surprise his opponents with the size of his fight.
In the meantime, he’ll keep using his voice to tackle discrimination against those with developmental disabilities – and to let the world know that everyone is someone.
“Inclusion is what I’ve dedicated my life to,” said Logan. “And it’s what I’m going to keep doing. I’m always trying to help the underdogs…because I’ve been an underdog all my life, too.”
Take the Acceptance Pledge for yourself today at pledge.acceptanceinsurance.com.
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