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Turnstone athlete and Bishop Dwenger High School senior Maggie Peters was honored at the 360Awards banquet at the Parkview Regional Medical Center Mirro Center. Peters was one of 30 high school finalists nominated from throughout Northeast Indiana for making a positive difference in their home, their school and their community.

And then Peters was named one of the seven $1,000 scholarship winners, the first unanimous selection in the six-year history of the program.

The 360Awards were founded by the RespectTeam, a non-profit organization which began in 2015 with a mission, “To encourage healthy respect of self and others through educational programs and relevant connects to the community.”

Peters was nominated for the honor by Turnstone Sports & Recreation Coordinator Kevin Hughes.

“I get to see first-hand how her positive energy spreads to everyone around her,” Hughes wrote. “During events, she’s a fierce competitor. Her light shines the best during her down times at events where people love being around Maggie. Many call Maggie their best friend as she masterfully balances her time of being a high honors student, multi-sport national athlete, big sister to her two younger brothers, and a friend to just about everyone she comes in contact with. The way she divides her day is an asset that she’ll master forever and one that many of us can aspire to be.”

Peters was born prematurely at 25 weeks in the car on the way to the hospital, Peters’ lungs were underdeveloped and that affected her eyesight with retinopathy of prematurity, meaning she’s blind in her right eye and has 20/200 vision in her left. She’s legally blind, and a few years ago her hair fell out because of alopecia.

Peters is a member of the Bishop Dwenger swim team and track team, and is an all-American athlete. She also holds several national records. During the 2018 Adaptive Sports USA Junior Nationals at Turnstone, she participated in 10 swimming events, seven track and field events and the triathlon. She also qualified in archery but there weren’t enough competitors to hold the event.

The Paratriathlon may be her ultimate favorite sport because it allows her to compete in swimming, bicycling and running, all with a guide keeping pace beside to direct her in each event. That includes a half-mile swim, a 12-mile bike ride and a 5K run in the same day.

“She is a special person and it would not surprise me if she changes lives for thousands of people,” Turnstone track coach Bob Walda said a few years ago. “The things you learn as a coach and pass it on, she puts in her toolbox and walks away with it. She’s an inspiration to me.”

Turnstone’s mission is to empower people with disabilities to achieve their highest potential by providing one of the most comprehensive offerings of service and programs to people with disabilities and their families under one roof in the United States. Thanks to generous support and compassionate staff, Turnstone’s legacy of advocacy and innovation continues to contribute to a world that accepts and values people based on their abilities. This legacy now includes the privilege of functioning as the home training facility for the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Goalball Teams and the goalball resident program through a partnership with the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA).

The Waynedale News Staff
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