OXFORD, CT (WFSB) -- Two local high school students are headed overseas, and hope to bring back skills to drive social inclusion back at home.

They were chosen to participate in the Global Youth Leadership Summit at the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi.

Being the best isn’t about skill, it’s about the heart.

“The friendships that develop are priceless and that’s what I think some of them come into it not realizing the friendships that they’re going to gain,” said Jennifer LaCapra, head Unified Sports coach at Oxford High School.

She is the force behind the culture at the school, and introduced Unified Sports six years ago, which brings students and Special Olympic athletes together.

LaCapra motivated Thomas Romeo and Jack Fairhurst to apply to the 2019 Special Olympics World Games Youth Summit.

The students earned their ticket for their vision of inclusivity. They left for Abu Dhabi on Tuesday with their principal.

The trio is paired with students from Germany, Zimbabwe, and Bahrain.

Together they’ll cheer on athletes competing in the games and participate projects pushing change.

“When I found out I was going, I was shocked, it didn’t feel real,” Fairhurst said.

Both students say they’re excited for the worldwide friendships they’ll make and the lessons they’ll bring back, not only to Oxford High School, but other schools in the state.

“I’m looking forward to seeing new culture, instead of the American culture, just see how different it is,” Romeo said.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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