A little bit about Julian Castro
In the beginning of freshman year I was introduced to a family at my school known as the Wolfpack. This family consisted of like-minded competitive athletes and partners that cared for each other on and off the field. As a lonely freshman the Wolfpack and the Special Olympics community welcomed me into their arms. My story was similar to the usual student volunteer experience, I joined in search for hours. But after days and days of practice, I began to realize that my purpose as a student and a member of my community was to change it. Before joining, my life was subject to a strict rubric defined by grades and community service hours as my only path to success. Special Olympics gave me a new perspective on my self-worth.
My experience in SOMDC has been very rewarding, I have traveled over 4 times to Orlando for State Competitions and have lead the team to gold and silver medals, as coach. In my school, I created the 'Wolfpack' club, which has allowed me to engage the student body and bring together around 50 students. These volunteers have been able to have the same life-changing experiences that I had. In the State trips I am responsible for the athletes and students traveling along. Although these trips make everyone nervous, I do not like to take them too seriously, after all what matters is the experience and what we learn from it. Most of my high school experience has been and will continue to be shaped by these lessons and experiences. In practices I find myself doing the exact same thing, while I do enforce a strict regimen, there is never not a time for laughter. I have participated as a counselor in Camp Shriver twice and will continue to volunteer when the COVID-19 pandemic ends. Now, it has been over three years in this family; as a rising senior and as the Head Coach for the team I am prepared to make this year the best of the best. My goals for the next year is having my team qualify for USA Games and getting gold in all State Competitions.
Looking back, I owe A LOT to Special Olympics. If I would have continued to value my grades over my own happiness, my life would be miserable. I have been able to advance myself from the mistakes and successes that I have gone through in this journey, I have developed leadership skills from the various events that I have had the priveledge to lead, and I have matured as a result of the connections I have made in this community. Now, I am a whole different person that has time managament, public speaking, networking, and community service skills as well as compassion for the people that surround me. Now more than ever the world needs leaders with these traits. We need CEO's that value corporate-social responsibility, we need politicans with compassion for everyone in the population, and most importantly we need a united population that cares for each other no matter their disability, race, intellect, gender, and so on.
Frankly, in our community there is a lack of organizations that are able to instill these traits in people, Special Olympics being one of them. Its ability to connect students to inspiring athletes, the leadership opportunities it provides for all types of people, and its togetherness make it so unique. When I become a father I hope that my kids will have the opportunity to make these memories and join Special Olympics. We need to come together in order to continue to bring life to the organizations that empower our community. Special Olympics, like other nonprofit organizations, is as important as education as it gives meaning to what our youth learns in school.
Special Olympics Florida
Attn: Sponsor an Athlete 5k
155 South Miami Avenue, Suite 200
Miami, Florida 33130
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