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U.S. Senator Honors Chief Inspiration Officer Loretta Claiborne

Loretta stands next to a sign that reads, “U.S. Senator Bob Casey Honors Black History Month. Voices Empowering Generational Change.”
Loretta Claiborne at the U.S. Senate building to receive an honor from U.S. Senator Bob Casey from Pennsylvania.

'Voices Empowering Generational Change' is the perfect way to describe our Chief Inspiration Officer, Loretta Claiborne during Black History Month and always. She is a true testament to the power of determination and resilience, and we are grateful she received this well-deserved recognition on 26 February 2024 from the office of U.S. Senator Bob Casey from Pennsylvania (Claiborne’s home state) for her exceptional contributions particularly as a leader within the Special Olympics movement.

During Senator Casey’s 18th annual Black History event, Claiborne along with four other honorees from the state of Pennsylvania were recognized by Casey on the Senate floor and during a panel discussion in a Senate meeting room. In addition to Claiborne, those being recognized were Donta Green, Executive Director of the Trade Institute of Pittsburg, Lurline Jones, a coach and civil rights activist from Philadelphia, and Edgar and Barbara Farmer, longtime advocates for education and diversity from of State College.

Casey spoke about why this year’s leaders, including Claiborne, were being celebrated. “These five honorees represent the very best of Pennsylvania. Their work uplifting the next generation by nurturing the confidence and ability already within them will leave a lasting impact on our Commonwealth.”

Loretta and Senator Casey shake hands standing next to the Black History event sign.
Loretta Claiborne with Senator Bob Casey

Casey shared insights into Claiborne’s early history before providing an overview of her contributions, “Loretta didn't start walking until age of four and hasn't stopped since, running 26 marathons. That's 26 more than me!” He continued, “Loretta is a trailblazer for people with disabilities making sure they are able to share their special gifts.”

During the panel discussion, Claiborne was asked about the benefits of being multilingual. She responded, “With language, when I step outside my box, I can cross barriers. I was never afraid to step out my box because my mother told me, it's not how much you have, it's what you have and how you use it.”

Attending the event to support Claiborne were many of her family, friends and Special Olympics colleagues.

Claiborne credits much of her success to asking for help. “I had to learn to accept I have a disability, but it won't affect where I can go. I learned how to get through life by not being afraid to ask for help.”

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