Marilyn Blakley’s Profile

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I am a mother.  I have four children, 2 step kids & 2 adopted kids.  I have 5 grandchildren.  I love them very much and encourage them to face the challenges that life brings and turn those challenges into something that will make them strong and happy.  My youngest son became a below knee amputee two years after he was adopted.  My children give me the desire to reach out and make a difference.  They are my inspiration and remind me everyday that we all have something to give that will make someone’s life better.

I am a schoolteacher.  I have had the opportunity to work with students ages 12-18 on a daily basis. I teach Math.  I also teach a wide range of abilities.  I love seeing the success and learning that goes on everyday with students who thought they did not have the ability to keep going.  I never let them give up – although I do let them learn from their mistakes.

I am a coach.  I have coached many little league teams in my community and now find myself coaching again.  I have been given the opportunity to help create the first NWBA Junior team in Utah. We have been able to recruit faithful athletes who have the drive, motivation, and desire to learn and grow in the sport of wheelchair basketball.  Coaching is different this time because of the kids and their attitude about life.  They never complain!  I love that!  They are always looking for the next thing to learn.  I can see the positive impact this sport is making on each athlete. I will do whatever it takes to help them achieve success and help them know there is great potential for them in athletics.

I am a volunteer.  I have taken the opportunity to volunteer with the National Ability Center. Volunteering (as well as coaching) is one of the most rewarding experiences that I have ever had.  One of the best parts is to see a child enjoy life.  Another thing is to see the parents of a disabled child find peace within themselves knowing their child is enjoying life through physical activities.

I have worked with able bodied and disabled children alike.  There is nothing that either one can’t do – it is all in what they are willing to do.  I find that most of the time, disabled kids do more because they are not afraid to try.  They are the ones who inspire me to be a better person every day.

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