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Del Norte Freshman Class Volunteers at Special Olympics
Nearly 100 students from the Class of 2015 spent a recent Saturday morning helping others.
May 15, 2012
By T.J. Rowten
Reporter for The Lance, the Del Norte HS Student Newspaper
Every year Del Norte recognizes its Selfless Seniors, but this year Del Norte is able to recognize the freshman class.
The freshman team teachers (Mr. Jerod Williamson, Mr. Rex Bullard, Ms. Liz Smith, Mr. Jeff Fencl, Mr. Jim Butscher, Ms. Kim Dunn, Ms. Christina Baca, Mr. Gerome Espinoza, Ms. Sharene Kemp, Mr. Todd Reed, Mr. Chris Welsh and Mr. Ken Couch) this year got together and organized a way for the freshman class to help out at New Mexico’s Special Olympics.
“The freshman teachers wanted to do this to let our freshmen students experience giving back to the community, and also in hopes to change students for the better,” Williamson, the team’s New Mexico history teacher, said.
The Special Olympics was held on Saturday April 28 at Sue Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho. Two buses left Del Norte at 6:45 a.m. carrying about 85 students, teachers and parents. The event began at 8 a.m. and lasted until 3 p.m. People with special needs from all around New Mexico came to compete with each other and just have fun.
Up until now no other school has ever sent more students to help out and each and every student responded in a way that impressed the sponsors.
“It was amazing. I got to help out people that don’t get to do what they always want to do and I got to help them out,” Leslie Ruiz, a freshman at Del Norte, said.
Every student participated in some way. Whether it was helping set up or leading the athletes to where they need to go to even cheering the athletes on, Del Norte’s freshmen worked hard the entire day. These students experienced something that has changed their lives forever and given the chance each and every one of them would gladly do it again.
“In life I’ve taken so many things for granted, there are so many people out there that can’t do what I can do and I got a chance to help them out. I was able to put a smile on their face,” Ruiz said.
The freshman class has learned that sometimes you don’t know how lucky you are until you spend time with someone that doesn’t have what you have. These students had the chance to talk with the athletes, see what their life was like, and see the struggles they have to face everyday. They also got to share laughs with them and see that their needs may be different but deep down they’re one in the same.
“It’s always good to help others out and it’s was a good experience, it will change the way you see life,” Ruiz said.