Special Olympics Florida relies on the hard work and dedication of more than 27,000 volunteers of all walks of life. These volunteers give their time and energy to make a difference in the lives of our athletes, fans, and communities. David Barocas, the President of Special Olympics Florida at the University of Central Florida (UCF), is one such volunteer who has been making a difference for more than seven years.
In high school, David witnessed a student with intellectual disabilities being bullied and discovered this was not just an isolated incident, but a horrible reality for many people. Shortly after, he attended the Special Olympics Florida Champions Gala with his father.
There David met a Special Olympics Florida athlete and had one of the best conversations of his life. He loved getting to know the athlete and how Special Olympics empowered him and his family. From that moment, David knew he had to be a part of this organization.
Every day David strives to motivate others to get to know Special Olympics Florida athletes and the Special Olympics movement. He has been able to take this passion and spread it to other aspects of his life, which include being in the Marching Knight Band and a fraternity.
At UCF, David recruits others from the community to volunteer along with him, and he is a leader in the Special Olympics College Club to create a more inclusive campus environment. Recently UCF hosted Unified (players with and without intellectual disabilities playing together) intramural competitions, an inclusive recreation expo, and Unified games at the FHSAA regional tournament.
While working beside his peers at Special Olympics Florida as well as his fellow Marching Knights, David is always trying his best to start a conversation with new members to make them feel accepted and included. He wants everyone to realize that they are never alone and that there is always going to be someone there to support them.
David’s positive attitude is an inspiration to those around him, but he is most inspired by Special Olympics Florida athletes. David’s story is an incredible example of how taking the initiative to volunteer can better your own life in return. We are thankful for what David and all our volunteers do on a daily basis to make a difference in our state and beyond.
Learn more about becoming a volunteer!