Alex you ARE a super hero!

In the last two years we have done some future planning with Alex. We have used the PATH process to help Alex articulate her dreams for her future and the steps needed to make these dreams positive and possible. 

 A number of themes have come out of these planning sessions. and Alex's gap year reflects some of these goals. However some of these goals are not positive and possible so we need to discover the "why" behind the dream. For example Alex wants to be Rock Star and as much as I believe when Alex puts her mind to something she succeeds I do have trouble believing she is the next Taylor Swift. So we talked and found out that Alex likes to be on stage and sing. This was an easy goal - she now sings with a few local bands at street fairs and benefits.

 As for the super hero dream, we are still working to understand exactly what that means. Perhaps Alex wants to thwart bad guys, or solve world problems. In my heart I believe Alex wants to be in the public eye, a hero to her friends, family and community....A Special Olympian who does her family, friends, community and country proud. Well, sweet daughter you have done just that!

 ( all super heroes Alex needs support and this is very important to her success)

 The following article is on the front page of the Aspen Times and Glenwood Springs Post Independent today.

 Local Special Olympics medalist skis for the gold

Bender to compete at games in South Korea

Amy Hadden Marsh

Special to The Aspen Times

Aspen, CO, Colorado


Showing her Olympic mettle

Special Olympics medalist to compete in World Games in S. Korea

Amy Hadden Marsh

Post Independent Contributor

Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

SNOWMASS — On a cold, snowy, winter morning, Alex Bender holds court in the bright, cheery and deliciously warm Challenge Aspen office on the Snowmass mall, talking to staff and demonstrating how to compete in the shot put.

 She plants her feet firmly on the floor and raises her right arm close to her ear with her hand cupped, as if holding an imaginary shot. Then, she rocks back and forth two times, twisting slightly to the right in a windup before the final throw. Bender, who was born with Down syndrome, finished fifth in the shot put at the 2012 National Special Olympics Summer Games in Lincoln, Neb., and her relay team finished second. She placed in the top 10 in the 100- and 200-meter dashes.

 But Bender, who is 19 and lives in El Jebel, said running is not her thing; she likes skiing best.

 “I love snow the most,” she said with an easy smile. 

 And to prove it, she took home the gold in ski racing at last year's state Special Olympics winter games at Copper Mountain.

 That gold medal was her ticket to what could be the biggest thrill of her life. At the end of January, Bender heads to South Korea with the Colorado contingent of Special Olympics Team USA to compete as an alpine skier in the 10th annual Special Olympics World Games. READ MORE...


Margaret (Gary) Bender

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