Royal Court Leadership & Life Skills Development Program
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Enrollment deadline for the 2022-2023 Fiesta Especial® Royal Court program is Friday, August 12th by 5:00pm. Qualified participants are 10 years of age or older and have a sensory, physical, or cognitive disability. In order to enroll, you must complete the mandatory orientation.
Fiesta Especial® by disABILITYsa is a unique and exciting program for children and adults, ages 10 and up with all types of cognitive, physical and sensory disabilities that incorporates community-based instruction and training within the context of Fiesta®…a celebration of heritage, culture and diversity for San Antonio and surrounding communities.
The Fiesta Especial® Royal Court leadership and life skills development program provides an opportunity for individuals to work on communication, socialization, leadership, group-advocating, problem solving and planning skill sets. It is a year-long program that begins in September and runs through the end of April.
The Fiesta Especial® Royal Court program offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences, life changing moments, self-discovery, skill strengthening and development, new friends, community awareness and more all tied up with a tremendous celebration. Each participant becomes a part of a community that distinguishes achievements, recognizes diversity and provides a platform for giving back and contributing to the local community which supports our program participant’s day in and day out.
“Excellent opportunity for the members of the Royal Court to learn and the community to learn about how individuals with special needs can contribute! Thank you, thank you, thank you!” - 2013 Fiesta Especial Royal® Court Parent
ABOUT THE PROGRAM SESSIONS
The Fiesta Especial® Royal Court program follows the traditional path for Fiesta® Royalty in that funds are raised by program participants to benefit the local community. Fiesta®, in itself, is about giving back to the community we live in.
While many of the Fiesta® Royalty programs raise money for scholarships, the Fiesta Especial program provides funding to organizations serving individuals with disabilities along with a community-based instruction program for special education classes and day habilitation programs during Fiesta®.
However, unlike the other Fiesta® Royalty programs, all individuals who participate in the Campaign Session (Sept.– Dec.) of the program are eligible to move into the Appearance Session (Feb.– April) of the program as long as they meet the minimum eligibility criteria (which we will help with!).
CAMPAIGN SESSION (September - December)
The first half of the Fiesta Especial® Leadership and Life Skills development program is around campaigning. The Campaign Session kicks off with a workshop and provides supports to each program participant as it teaches the skill sets of Setting Goals, Developing a Plan, Building a Team, Asking for Support, Identifying Networks, Communicating a Clear message, etc.
Each participant’s campaign enables them to put into practice the lessons reviewed in the workshop. 100% of the funds raised through each person’s campaign go to help programs and services for individuals with disabilities. 40% of each campaign goes to the nonprofit of the program participant’s choice and 60% goes toward providing the Fiesta Especial® Celebration Day program for special education and disability programs at no cost to the attendees, their families, schools or programs.
While developing the leadership and life skills through the Fiesta Especial® program, each participant helps to create visibility for the leadership and contributions individuals with disabilities make in the community.
APPEARANCE SESSION (February - April)
The second half of the program is the Appearance Session which starts with a workshop focused on developing skills in social interaction, interviews, public appearance & grooming, setting priorities, advocating for oneself, representing others, role modeling and more. These skills are developed through participation in a series of events (Coronation Ceremony, Check Presentations, Media Appearances, Visitation Days, Interviews, and other Public Appearances).
The Fiesta Especial® Royal Court is a Leadership, Community Training & Instruction program to develop the following Life Skills while representing the leadership and contributions individuals with disabilities make in the San Antonio Community:
“We had quite a few individuals come up to our court members and want their pictures taken. They inquired about the organization and how they could help. There were some that just wanted to dance with them and have a good time. We even had one man tell us that ‘they were the best thing they had seen all night.’” - 2013 Fiesta Especial Royal Court Parent
“I believe that having individuals with disabilities more visible in our community, especially at events that are so popular in our community brings awareness and acceptance.”- 2013 Fiesta Especial Royal Court Supporter
2022 Benefiting Organizations
Fact Institute | Down Syndrome Association of Texas | ConnectAbility |SA Life Academy | Any Baby Can | Chromosome 18 |Capernaum Young Life | Epilepsy Foundation Central and South Texas
2021 Benefiting Organizations
Kinetic Kids I University United Methodist Church I Eva's Heroes I Care Warriors Inc I Chromosome 18
Registry & Research Society I Morgan's Wonderland I Ainsley's Angels
2020 Benefiting Organizations
Autism Treatment Center | Family Service | Kabuki Gathering | Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children | Kinetic Kids | Morgan's Wonderland | Fiesta Especial® by disABILITYsa
2019 Benefiting Organizations
Any Baby Can | Autism Treatment Center of SA | Children's Assoc. for Maximum Potential
Kinetic Kids | Special Reach | The Arc of San Antonio | The Down Syndrome Association
The Ferrari Kids | Fiesta Especial® by disABILITYsa | Southwind Fields | Young-Life Capernaum
2018 Benefiting Organizations
The Arc of San Antonio | Endless Possibilities for Special Stars | The Academy at Morgan's Wonderland | Eva's Heroes | Dolphin Boutique - Holmgreen Center, NISD | The Ferrari Kids | Spina Bifida Texas | Fiesta Especial® by disABILITYsa | Any Baby Can
2017 Benefiting Organizations
Kinetic Kids | Job Adventures | The Academy at Morgan's Wonderland | Angels Challenger Team (NB Little League) Challengers Team of McAllister Park Little League
2016 Benefiting Organizations
Clark H.S. Friends Having Fun | Special Olympics Texas Area 20 | Job Adventures | San Antonio Clubhouse | Santa Rosa Hospital | Angels Challenger Team (NB Little League)
Challengers Team of McAllister Park Little League
2015 Benefiting Organizations
Reaching Maximum Independence, Inc. | for Clark H.S. Friends Having Fun | The Arc of San Antonio | Special Olympics Texas Area 20 | Kinetic Kids | Unicorn Center Steppers | Alliance of Pediatric Providers | Autism Treatment Center | Converse Elementary School Special Education
2014 Benefiting Organizations
Job Adventures | Alliance of Pediatric Providers of SA | SpeciaLives | Brighton Center
Texas A&M University Council for Exceptional Children Student Chapter
Monarch Academy at Morgan's Wonderland | Converse Elementary School
2013 Benefiting Organizations
Clark HS Friends Having Fun | Monarch Academy at Morgan's Wonderland | Alliance of Pediatric Providers of San Antonio | Converse Elementary Special Education
Down Syndrome Association of South Texas
2012 Benefiting Organizations
CALAB, Inc. | Monarch Academy | River City Christian School | Down Syndrome Association of San Antonio | Ability Pediatric Therapy | Monarch Academy | University United Methodist Church
Participants and Guardians are required to attend a program orientation prior to enrollment.
"Excellent experience for our special needs royal court in improving communication skills, planning, patience, the importance of fulfilling commitments, genuine acceptance and a sense of role modeling for others. I could go on and on!!!" - 2013 Fiesta Especial Royal Court Parent
Do you know someone who is running in the Fiesta Especial® Royal Court contest this year? Make your donation count toward a Royal Court candidate's campaign. Make sure to put your candidate's name in the "Note to Merchant" section at checkout. You will receive a confirmation of your votes (donation) upon receipt.