Seeing Gold - Local woman earns Gold at Special Olympics 2022

Seeing Gold - Local woman earns Gold at Special Olympics 2022

Local woman and Allied Services employee, Carol D, of Scranton, recently added a new Gold medal to her collection. Carol is no stranger to seeing gold, as she has participated in the Special Olympics for over 30 years now. Most recently, Carol participated in the Special Olympics in Florida, taking part in the many sports that it has to offer. She is an avid tennis player and brought home two gold medals in the women's singles and the mixed doubles events.

“She’s always loved sports and competition, and she was the comedian on the court”, said her life-sharing provider, Mary. “Carol always made the other athletes smile and laugh. She doesn’t let her competitive side get in the way of her brightening people's days.”

“Carol has been playing tennis for years and has been to the Special Olympics loads of times. This year, she was selected in a lottery due to her past of winning gold at other sporting events, like the State Games.”

This event was much anticipated by Carol, as the pandemic canceled a lot of the events that she played in. Ever persistent, Carol continued to train and took part in athletic events on zoom to stay involved.

Carol began her training for this year's Special Olympics months before the actual event. She had help from multiple coaches both online and in-person, as well as volunteers from her past events. In May, she traveled to Harrisburg to do formal training. In June, it was time for all of her training to pay off.

“Carol worked so hard for what she achieved. She practiced at the Carbondale YMCA, Mellow Park, and at home. A lot of her past coaches even volunteered to help her out alongside her current coaches. She had a great support network every step of the way.”

When she's not training, Carol participates in the employment program at Allied Services Vocational Training Center in Scranton. 

The Vocational Services Division (VSD) at Allied Services provides training and employment opportunities at vocational centers in Scranton and Stroudsburg, and at various satellite locations and partner businesses in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Through specialized training and supervision, individuals with disabilities learn key work-related skills, allowing them to earn a real wage for a real job. Program participants gain a sense of pride and accomplishment in their achievements and our customers benefit from a trained and eager work force capable of producing consistently high-quality work.

Carol has multiple conditions including a mild intellectual disability (ID) and a seizure disorder. Intellectual disability is a term used when there are limits to a person’s ability to learn at an expected level and function in daily life. While intellectual disability is a lifelong condition, early intervention can help allow individuals to live fulfilling lives.

Carol received help early on to help manage her ID, and her last seizure was in 2008. She approaches her work at Allied Services with the same determination and sense of fun as she displays when she is playing a sport she loves.

Vocational Services 

Since 1959, the Vocational Services Division has existed to give individuals with disabilities the opportunity to achieve their full social, vocational, and economic potential. The Vocational Services Division provides training and employment opportunities at two vocational centers in Scranton, at the Burnley Workshop in Stroudsburg, and at various satellite locations and partner businesses in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Learn more here.