Officer Luz Fernandez Story

“I accidentally discovered LETR by an officer that was the Special Programs Coordinator for the department. She was going to retire from the department and was looking for someone energetic, passionate, with a "get it done" work ethic as her replacement. She showed me the ins and outs of her job and got me hooked to Special Olympics Arizona three years ago.  I can truly say I fell in love with the organization and the people. Special Olympics is now part of my everyday life; Facebook, email, twitter, anyone I come in contact with, etc. I know that after I retire from the police department, Special Olympics will continue to be an organization I will be blessed to be part of. Currently, I am the Special Programs Coordinator for the City of Phoenix Police Department and one of my duties is to serve as the liaison and fundraiser coordinator between the department and Special Olympics.  I have coordinated the Law Enforcement Torch Run, Fry's Fuel of Dreams, Tip A Cop, table captain for Breakfast with Champions, Over the Edge, Unified Sports, numerous fundraisers and this year myself and two wonderful young ladies are helping execute the Walk to Host kickoff event for the 2016 Special Olympics International Conference in downtown Phoenix. 

All of the athletes have had a significant impact on my life, but I do have two in particular that have just warmed my heart beyond belief.  Molly Wise and Chy Johnson are two beautiful young ladies that truly have taught me to focus on my abilities, not disabilities.  Molly has such a desire to show love and acceptance to all those she comes in contact with. You know you have met Molly because you would have been given one of the best hugs you have ever experienced . Chy is just filled with energy and desire to be part of any activity, to contribute in whatever format possible. Chy's gift is to teach about the effects that love has had in her life despite the hardships of life.  I am a better person because of these two young ladies and their strong, dedicated mom's.

I recall a shirt I saw not too long ago that said, "Warning, Special Olympics is highly addictive and you may be hooked for life."  I loved the shirt so much that it is now hanging in my office.  I am highly enthusiastic about my partnership with Special Olympics and I make it a point to tell people about all the goodness that is happening with Special Olympics.  In a world full of negativity, Special Olympics provides an escape, an opportunity to do something that will change you, while doing something great for others.  I love to socialize and make friends.  The easiest question to answer is, "what do you do?" That is the beginning of a potential partner.  I continue to speak to people until I find the one motivating factor that gets me an "in" with them.  That is my "gotcha hooked" and the rest is pure commitment.”

- Officer Luz Fernandez, Phoenix Police Department

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