Paige Kroupa

Pinellas County

Special Olympics Florida has given Paige Kroupa the chance to learn golf, bowling, volleyball, and cycling. But most importantly, it’s helped Paige develop the confidence to come out of her shell.

Once shy and unsure, Paige is now a powerful advocate for people with intellectual disabilities. Over the past decade, she’s become a champion fundraiser for Special Olympics Florida and was named the Top Athlete Fundraiser for the 2020 Polar Plunge.

This year, she’s created business cards for the Polar Plunge, complete with a QR code that directs potential donors straight to her fundraising page. She says her associate’s degree in computer information technology made the job pretty easy.

“If you want something badly enough, you’ll work hard enough for it,” she said. “Simple as that.”

Paige says her communication skills are a product of her time with Special Olympics Florida. It gave her a place to feel safe and accepted while gently nudging her out of her comfort zone. She tried new things, made new friends, and became, she said, “a people-person.”

“Ten years ago, I would have been hiding behind my mom,” Paige said. “Now I’m speaking in front of crowds!”

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