Saint of SF | Ivory Richardson

Saint of SF | Ivory Richardson

Santa Fe College Project SAINT student Ivory Richardson poses for a photo for the Saints of Santa Fe Series on March 9, 2023 in Gainesville . (Photo by Matt Stamey/Santa Fe College)

Ivory Richardson is a Santa Fe College student graduating this month with big plans and even bigger adventures ahead.  

In Ivory’s Saint of SF nomination, Linda Mussillo, Coordinator, Adults with Disabilities Program Project SAINT remarked, “Ivory is a talented athlete, she was recently selected to represent the United States in basketball at the International Special Olympics competition in Germany this June. She will travel with the Florida delegation representing different athletes from the state and will participate alongside other talented Special Olympians from all states, competing against athletes from around the world! We are so proud of her!” 

On April 16, Ivory competed in the 2023 National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Basketball Unified Championship in Maryland for team University of Florida, securing the victory for UF with a three-pointer in overtime with a minute to go on the clock, watch the game defining play on Youtube.  

We checked-in with Ivory just before the NIRSA game to talk about her motivation, her accomplishments and her dreams for the future.  

“I always wanted to learn more and feel free to grow and my mom knew it. I was a special need student in high school, I was in one class all day. When I graduated, my mom found me a part-time job. A friend told her about the Project SAINT program, I put in an application and I got accepted.  

When I first came to Santa Fe, I was scared because it was so big, and I had to meet new people. Ms. Linda helped me with talking to other people, showed me how to get to my classes. I found out there was so much more to learn. 

Now that I’m graduating, I hope to use what I’ve learned. We have a nonprofit organization named Ivory’s Place Inc., we giveaway Walmart items to families in community schools. I have got better in my skills baking and I learned about marketing my business, Ivory’s Galore. When we have our giveaways in the community I will supply the free baked goods.  

I never thought I’d be riding the city bus by myself going to college, have a job and be a supervisor.  I didn’t imagine I would be living my dream playing basketball with Special Olympics traveling the U.S. and going to Germany to represent USA Special Olympics. I’m labeled disabled, but my dreams are still coming true. 

I have been supported and want to thank, my mom, Janie Crawford and my brother, David Richardson who have been right there helping always. Also, Ms. Linda Mussillo and the Project SAINT staff have helped me learn more, gain confidence, talk more and push me to be better. 

I want to continue with Special Olympics playing basketball and traveling, and one day play professionally. I also love to make videos, so I will grow my Instagram page. I love working so I will do that too. “ 

– Ivory Richardson, Santa Fe College first-generation student and Project SAINT graduate Spring 2023 

Project SAINT is an official Florida Post- Secondary Comprehensive Transition Program (FPCTP), recognized by the Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities. Housed in the Adult Education Department at Santa Fe College’s Northwest Campus, Project SAINT stands for Student Access and INclusion Together. The name SAINT reflects the college’s team name, the Santa Fe Saints, as well as the program’s emphasis on “inclusion together”. Learn more about the program and watch student testimonials in the video below.