Chance to work with Special Olympics changes life of future teacher

Volunteer finds pure joy in working with athletes

DENVER - For Paula Hogg, spending 20 years teaching special education and working with Special Olympics was not always the plan.

“I was lucky to fall into it," she told Denver7. “I had to do a practicum and I fell in love with it, it changed what I want to do.”

A lot of that change of heart was inspired by just one athlete.

“He didn’t care if he won or lost.  He was just happy to be a part of something, to belong, just the pure joy of it,” she remembers.

Now the mother of twins, Hogg still finds time to coach and help coordinate Special Olympics activities through the Project Unify program at Brighton High School.

“I find the more I put into it, the more I get from the athletes,” she said.  “It’s not something I do on the side. I commit my whole self to it.”

For her dedication to the program, Denver7 and U.S. Bank presented Hogg with a $100 gift card.

She says what she would really like, is a few more volunteers.  Even if it’s just for a day.

“An extra body. It is amazing what it can do for a practice. Amazing how much more you can get done.”

Visit the Special Olympics website to learn more about how you can lend a hand.

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