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'Training for Life' Center coming to Special Olympics Idaho

Posted: 5:23 AM, Sep 20, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-20 12:38:13Z

Nail by nail, these walls are going up to give Special Olympic athletes in our area a new home for crafting their skills. 

“To have a place where they can gather together, be accepted, celebrate each other reveal the champ from within, feel safe and not judged, is so important for the population we serve," says CEO of Special Olympics Idaho Laurie La Follette. 

The hands that are helping build it are facing adversity of their own. 
 
“They’ve just sat in prison for 5 or 6 years before they come to us, we do have people that are upwards of 15 years, so you know in and out of prison during that time," said correctional case manager at Nampa CRC Rachael Masmatias. 

Residents of Nampa's Community Reentry Center volunteer at various non-profits in our area. This group of residents volunteered their time to help Special Olympics Idaho build a training center for their athletes. 
 
“We have different stories where we feel like we’ve taken from the community and we want to start giving back," said Nampa CRC resident Lenny Williams. 

Lenny Williams is a resident of Nampa CRC and says community service has helped change his life for the better. 
 
“It’s nice for guys like us to get out and give back to the community, one thing that spoke to me about this organization was the strength of the athletes. I mean, their dedication through adversity is something we can all get behind," said Williams. 

According to Nampa CRC, these projects are crucial for helping the men re-enter society for good, by learning social skills and sharpening their trade skills. 
 
“The majority of our guys that get out after doing these projects do well, so we see lower recidivism,” said Masmatias. 

Once construction completes, all Special Olympics athletes can sue the training center, and the Nampa CRC residents like Williams can continue to build their place back in society. 
 
“I think it’s more important if people have it in their heart to volunteer and serve, it’s out there for them. If they let guys from the Nampa CRC come out, I'm sure if they’d appreciate the assistance of anyone else,” said Williams.