Special Olympics Arizona offers twenty Olympic-type sports for more than 22,000 people with intellectual disabilities in our state.
It's why you might be surprised to learn Carla Simon ever felt alone.
Simon said she was isolated as a kid but turned to Special Olympics in high school to get active and boost confidence. Little did she know, it would be a lifeline, especially after her mom passed away in 2013.
"I had a lot of anger issues and a lot of the coaches help me work my way out of the attitudes that I had about being down in the dumps," said Simon.
Swimming was one of Simon's escapes. Win after win, her spirits grew.
"It was really exciting I was so proud of myself. I didn't realize I could do those kinds of things and it made me more confident to work my way up -- thinking maybe I could do more," said Simon.
That confidence eventually led her to employment opportunities.
Simon hopes no matter where you are in life; you let one message of hope find its way to your heart.
"People can change, and that's why I always tell people don't think you're gonna be down forever. Your life can change," said Simon.