December 2022 Change Makers
Athlete of the Month
William first started participating in Special Olympics Colorado when he was 3 years old. “Because of William’s visual disability, he developed slower than other children his age. He also has many sensory sensitivities. Sounds, motion, and physical touch were difficult for him,” explained William’s mother, Nancy. “It was like finding family for William when we found Special Olympics.”
Williams enjoys many sports, but his favorites are basketball, soccer and bowling. This year, he also discovered he loves to golf and wants to learn how to ski. “As a parent, I love seeing William learn and progress in different sports at his own pace,” said Nancy, who also mentioned that William’s favorite part about Special Olympics Colorado is getting to play with his friends.
Nancy expressed that Special Olympics provides a safe environment for William to learn a sport and feel confident, even when all the kids are at different levels. “He gets to be part of a team that accepts him for exactly who he is, and whatever abilities he has in that sport,” she said.
Congratulations, William, on being recognized as our December Athlete of the Month!
Volunteer of the Month
Diane first got involved with Special Olympics Colorado 19 years because her son, Jordan, was born with Down syndrome and she wanted him to be involved in sports. She also got her son, Travis, involved as a Unified partner when he turned 8 years old.
Diane enjoys volunteering for Special Olympics Colorado because she loves helping people and making a difference in their lives. Her favorite memory is when her son had just competed in a soccer tournament and she had friends asking her if she had seen the Special Olympics Colorado van because her son was on it!
Diane is a Special Education teacher and said she tries to get her students involved in Special Olympics Colorado because it’s good for their self-esteem and they have something to do and look forward to. “They also build relationships that last a lifetime,” said Diane, who also mentioned that she feels like she has 3 different families: her family she was born with, her Down Syndrome group, and her Special Olympics Colorado family.
When she’s not volunteering with Special Olympics Colorado, Diane is involved with many school projects. She and her students also volunteer with Care and Share, as well as volunteering to beautify the school by picking up trash around it.
Overall, Diane loves to volunteer with Special Olympics Colorado. “It’s fun to help and talk to people,” explained Diane. “I love learning about new cultures and experiences of people people who play SOCO sports.”
Congratulations on being recognized as the December Volunteer of the Month, Diane!