Hi, my name is Joshua Powell. For the past 19 years I have been deeply involved with Special Olympics.
I have done the following things. From the age of 7 years old to approximately 24 years old I was an athlete for Special Olympics, from 24 to 25 years old I was a motivational speaker, coach, and I sang my country's national anthem (United States of America) at various competitions.
Now at 26 years old I have the amazing opportunity to step out of where I had been, both literally and figuratively. In January of 2011 I was invited to come to China to learn how to speak Chinese at a University. Without knowing it, I was about to start an adventure, that I could only dream about in the past.
I now have the ability to work at a special school in the city of Changchun. Currently I am able to help there about 2 days a week, in the near future; I would like to work towards being there 3 times a week. At this school, I not only work with the athletic program. I also have had the opportunity to work in the schools music program, and other programs, which I will visit soon within the school.
The students at this school are wonderful… I have found that it is just like back home, as I can start relationships, and help these students towards the future, using their own potential. In September of 2011 I have been invited by the school to join them for a Special Olympics activity in a different location, and I can only hope that this will spread out further.
These are the goals that I have specifically in mind for both the short term, and long term future.
Short term goals:
-- I would like to start helping at this school three times a week instead of two times a week.
--I want to start training volunteers, and getting it so that they can help in the school as well.
Long term goals:
-- I want to start traveling to different cities in China to work with Special Olympics programs elsewhere.
--I want to start working towards being a global ambassador, and/or working towards a career with Special Olympics International.
That last goal, to me is most important. At this time I can work with volunteers, and helping at schools, but by having the opportunity to being an ambassador, or having a career with SO International… I could help the same way, if not more all over the world. I would like to say… that I am a man of my word… but this can mean many things. I could say something like “I have an apple” but I could have an orange instead. I am a man of my word by the actions I put to that word. I will do all I can, for, and with the people that I meet.
I thank you for reading this, and I have hopes that you will look at your life, and ask yourself, what do you have to offer to help people with developmental disabilities. I will end with a phrase I have known for most of my life, and will remember it for all the days to come.
“Let me win, but if I cannot win, let be brave in the attempt.”
This phrase belongs to all athletes, all over the world.