Phone: 860-951-6614
CSEA SEIU Local 2001
P-3B Council Blog Jun 30, 2022
Labor Gives Back: Jen Corti & The Special Olympics
by Drew Stoner
    For most of Jen Corti’s career with the Department of Correction she has also been volunteering with the Special Olympics. When she joined DOC 13 years ago as a certified secondary science teacher, she was introduced to the mission of this empowering organization and has since been hooked. She’s become friends with the athletes, lent a hand at Tip-A-Cops, developed fundraising programs and eventually became the lead committee member at the Manson Youth Institute. Now she’s even the liaison for DOC for larger events like the Dream Ride in Farmington. 
    Each and every event that the Special Olympics hosts brings awareness to the organization and raises money that goes directly to the athletes. But as Jen remarks, it’s not just the athletes that benefit, “The benefits of these events fill our hearts as volunteers. The feel-good feeling we leave with is a benefit many do not realize.”
    Most recently, Jen along with other P-3B members volunteered for the Law Enforcement Torch Run which is the largest and longest fundraising effort for the Special Olympics. Local police agencies, State Police, university public safety, and DOC all participate in the Torch Run. DOC members’ involvement is critical, both to show their support of the Special Olympics, but also to remind the community of the integral role that DOC workers play in keeping our communities safe. 
    When asked about her favorite part of the event, Jen reminisced about the indescribable feeling of actually running in the race, “Running down the road with an athlete, groups of coworkers, other first responders, getting cheered on by cars and locals who come out to support us is an experience you cannot put into words. The smiles and cheers radiate from us to the locals and vice versa.”
    But Jen goes beyond just volunteering at the Torch Run, she turns it into a teachable moment for her students at Manson Youth. After discussing what the Special Olympics does in their communities such as, providing sports training, health screenings, encouraging courage, promoting inclusion, she asks students if they would like to support the Special Olympics. This year, her students pledged to donate over $600. Since 2012, her students have donated close to $5,000! 
    “I encourage everyone to volunteer at one event, or help at one fundraiser. Supporting this organization not only benefits the athletes, but you yourself. Not everyone has to run, you can participate in Penguin Plunges, go Over the Edge, participate in Tip-A-Cops, play in tournaments, the possibilities are endless. Give it a try and get hooked.”

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