Marie Gonzalez, self-advocate and employee of SunriseArc, was awarded the Skeet and Delores Norley Award, for excelling as an advocate for other citizens with developmental disabilities by The Arc of Florida at The Arc’s National Convention in Florida, November 4, 2010.
Marie Gonzalez, a resident of Lake County, was honored at The ARC National Convention as the recipient of The ARC of Florida’s Skeet and Delores Norley Award. This award was founded to recognize the efforts of an individual with a developmental disability who has excelled as an advocate for other citizens with developmental disabilities. The award is named for two individuals who dedicated their lives in advocating for those with developmental disabilities in Florida. It is The ARC of Florida’s highest honor for a person with a developmental disability.
Marie’s life journey is filled with a spirit and passion to succeed and through SunriseArc’s “self-directed” services; she has transitioned from living in a SunriseArc’s community based residential home, to living independently. As recipient for the Norley Award, Marie has demonstrated an outstanding commitment and compassion for others. Since age 9 Marie has been involved with Special Olympics. Today, Marie’s continues her commitment to others as demonstrated by serving as a coach in volley ball and also serving as a referee at the international games held in Beijing in 2008. Marie has also served as a delegate to the Global Athlete Congress for Special Olympics representing North America.
At the core of SunriseArc’s mission is providing opportunities for people with disabilities so they may achieve their highest potential. While Marie continues to achieve the goals she sets for herself, her inner determination and compassion for others is also reflected in her activities at SunriseArc where she teaches bocce ball to the adults who attend SunriseArc’s Adult Day Training Center. Through her coaching, a number of individuals at SunriseArc have achieved their own metals in this sport. Marie’s inner determination and compassion for others reflects the meaning of meaning of the Skeet and Dolores Norley Award.