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Chaplain's Corner
with Reverend Dale Burke

 

I had a terrific weekend recently as I served as a mentor to a special athlete participating in the Hawai‘i Special Olympic Leadership Conference.

Special Olympics is a worldwide organization that offers year round athletic training and competition for persons with intellectual disabilities. Every two years they gather athletes together to get valuable input to make the program better. As a mentor, I was there to encourage athletes as they thought about important issues, talked to each other about solutions, wrote speeches presenting their ideas, and voted on new policies.

At first, the discussions were brief and only involved the vocal few. By the end of the conference all the tables were buzzing with interaction, and even the shyest moved to the microphone to represent their group. Every idea was listened to and valued.

The joy for me was seeing the new-found confidence each athlete gained in only one short weekend. Like these athletes, all of us have tremendous opportunity right here to gain the skills, knowledge, and confidence to make a positive difference in shaping our world. We are privileged and blessed to have this opportunity. Only a small percentage of the world population has the good fortune to go to college. I encourage you to give your best effort each day, look out for the needs of others, treasure your family and friends, and have a thankful heart.

 

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