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State Honoree

Jacqueline Ho

Hawaii

Jacqueline Ho, 17, of Pearl City, Hawaii, a senior at Kamehameha High School in Honolulu, has been an active volunteer for Special Olympics since she was only 10 years old. "I have always been passionate about helping people with special needs and disabilities and helping them to accomplish things that others believe they are not capable of," said Jacqueline. She was inspired to get involved by her parents' work with Special Olympics: her mother is a vice president of Special Olympics Hawaii, and her father is a weight-lifting coach for the organization. Jacqueline began as a bowling partner for Special Olympics athletes, then became a soccer referee. As her experience increased, Jacqueline took on a leadership role at soccer events, helped with paperwork, and assisted athletes in a variety of events. Jacqueline has encouraged many of her friends to volunteer for Special Olympics, as well. Jacqueline's main goal is to make sure the athletes have fun, which requires patience and a positive attitude, she said. "Working with Special Olympics made me the type of person who stands up for others that are unable to stand up for themselves."