Brave in the Attempt Talks uses a groundbreaking personal story-telling platform in a "TED Talk" style format to encourage those with disabilities to serve as mentors and role models for others. Join us for the sixth year of this life-changing event! You will have the chance to share your story and hear from other speakers who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. Speakers will discuss topics from their own life experiences, lessons learned, and how they are leading the way now and in the future. Learn more about the 2023 speakers below.

Live stream information to come


Abby Knight

Abby Knight is 30 years old and hails from Washington, DC. She is very excited for the opportunity to be a part of the Brave and Attempt speeches in person, as she has had some early speech practice over Zoom. Abby loves the idea of Brave and Attempt speeches because she gets to listen to other people's ideas. Abby works as a Classroom teacher in Falls Church, VA, and works with 3-year-olds. She is also very excited to be a Special Olympics Maryland Bocce athlete starting in the Spring.


Alexea Wentz

Alexea Wentz has been a Special Olympics Maryland athlete for 8 years. She is a Special Olympics Maryland athlete who competes in Special Olympics cheerleading, dance, and bowling. Alexea competed at the 2022 USA Games in bowling where she won a gold medal in singles, a silver with my partner, and a bronze in teams. She is also an athlete leader for Special Olympics Maryland. She enjoy traveling, writing, and inspiring others.


Charles Gaines

Charles Gaines is a multi-sport athlete from Howard County. He has been an athlete since 1990 and participates in Basketball, Bowling, Track and Field, and Volleyball. He has competed on the national and international stages in sports. Attending the USA Games in Princeton in 2014, Seattle in 2018, and Orlando in 2022. He has also competed in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in 2019. He has also worked at Safeway since May 2001.


Clara Scholz

Clara Scholz is a 17 year Special Olympics Maryland athlete. She currently participates in swimming, hip hop, basketball, and soccer. Clara describes herself as very competitive in sports and Special Olympics is an important part of her life. Being in top shape for competition motivates Clara to have a healthy lifestyle. Clara attended Penn State Harrisburg in the Career Studies Program, a program for individuals with intellectual disabilities. This college experience was amazing and taught Clara to be more independent. She enjoys working with people and is currently supporting in a job training program.


Dominique Palmer

Dominique Palmer is a native of Maryland who graduated from Long Reach High School in Howard County. Dominique participated in the ARC of Maryland’s Together We’re Better program for the 2021-2022 school year where she shared her story with hundreds of students across Maryland. She and her mother started the non-profit S.E.E. Foundation, Inc. in 2021. Dominique enjoys meeting new people, sharing her love for life, encouraging others to stay focused and reach their goals, and traveling to new places.


Matt Digilio

Matt Digilio is a Special Olympics Maryland athlete from Montgomery County. He has participated in Special Olympics for 13 years. Matt is an employee of the Montgomery County Government. When he is not working or playing for Special Olympics he loves to DJ.