Linda Driscoll, Massachusetts – 2017
Linda has been involved in sports organizations since graduating from UMass in 1983. From 1988-1994, she was the Director of Sports Management & Program Development for the Mass Special Olympics, overseeing all training and competitions for Mass, impacting over 12,000 special Olympians of all ages. From 1994-1996 she was a volunteer committee member and consultant for Special Olympics International (SOI) Sport Training & Education Department & International Programs Department.
As executive director of the Mass Amateur Sports Foundation (1998-1999), Linda was responsible for providing the leadership and management to the organization that oversees the Bay State Games. The mission of MASF is to promote personal development, education, physical fitness, teamwork, and sportsmanship to Massachusetts citizens of all ages.
From 2003-2005, Linda was involved as a board member and chair for the New England Women’s Fund (NewFund), an organization that worked to increase opportunities for girls and young women through sports in New England. From 2004-2006, Linda was a volunteer member of the Boston Local Organizing Committee for the NCAA Women’s Final Four Boston, 2006. She served as the Special Events and Hospitality Chair. In 2008-2009, Linda served as a volunteer and consultant for Women’s Sports Foundation’s GoGirlGo Program in Boston.
In an effort to empower girls from economically disadvantaged communities through sports, Linda left her full time job in 2010 to launch DREAM BIG!, a 501©3 charitable organization in Massachusetts. The goal of DREAM BIG! is to help break down the economic barriers that prevent girls in low income situations from participating in sports and physical activities by providing them with the equipment, athletic footwear, sports attire, program fees, training expenses, and supplies that contribute to their health, education, and overall well-being. In just 7 years, DREAM BIG! has impacted over 30,000 girls and young women.
“I realize very well that participation in sports gives girls the strength, self-esteem, and tools they need to live healthy, active and successful lives. … My greatest impact has been launching DREAM BIG! so no girl or young woman is left on the sidelines because her family could not afford (the necessary equipment).”