Special Olympics Florida Director for Leon County, Bridget Hawk, never fails to be inspired by the exceptional people in her life who happen to have a disability – including her oldest son, Shaun.
Much of Bridget Hawk’s passion for the disability community comes from her first-hand experience when her oldest son, Shaun, was diagnosed with athetoid cerebral palsy at birth. Shaun’s diagnosis includes low muscle tone and severe speech issues, which inspired his interest in learning computer languages at an early age – and enabled him to better communicate with others.
Now 19 and a freshman at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Shaun is majoring in computer science and is truly thriving.
“I don’t know what the future holds for Shaun after college,” she explains. “That’s why we opened an ABLE United account. Now, he can save money to buy his own car, get an apartment and become a productive member of society.”
“What I’ve found is that if you give them a chance, they will succeed.”
Bridget’s community engagement was inspired by her son. As the Special Olympics Florida Director for Leon County, she oversees the free programming offered to more than 500 athletes that participate annually. The activities range from bowling to basketball and serve individuals with disabilities from ages six to 63.
Bridget is continuously motivated by the exceptional people in her life – the Special Olympics athletes and her son – and believes that if they are given a chance and armed with the resources, they will succeed.