Special Olympics Pennsylvania #50for50: Jessica Flacinski

#50for50: Volume 42
▪️ Jessica Flacinski
▪️ 24 years old
▪️ Elk County

“Singing is my passion. I like to put my voice to use. When I was young, I didn’t speak for the longest time. But then, all of sudden, I started learning words through singing. I sing the Star-Spangled Banner for the swimming events at Bradford. I’ve been doing that for about five years. I sang Annie as well, at the Community Theater. Fiddler on the Roof, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, The Sound of Music. I love Rogers & Hammerstein and I love Disney. Usually, somebody is my buddy on stage and it’s very fun. In high school, they told me to come to the tryouts for chorus. Mom never realized I’d be allowed to do it, but Mr. Brooks and Mr. G told me to go and try out. Some nights I was practicing up until 10 at night. I learned the choreography and I’d dance or sing or do background vocals. Then, during my senior year of high school, I sang ‘The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow’ acapella in front of the whole school. When I was done, everyone stood up and I got a standing ovation. … I was seven years old when I first started running. I was doing track and field. I have a video from that event. It’s set to music and I play it every chance I get. We have bowling and bocce. Track and field. We have softball throw. I love bowling and basketball. Last summer was my first time at Summer Games. It was fun. I was thinking ‘I’m going to sleep over this week.’ I played cards. We got to play softball throw and I cheered for Amanda. Everybody was falling on the floor laughing. I had fun. … I work at school now. At Elk County Catholic. I do the tables. I clean them and pick up the trash. We got trained in school to wash tables. The school district would pay us to wash tables every day. We practiced sophomore year, junior year we had the job and senior year we did it without supervision. Before this, I worked at Best Western and I was there without a coach. But then they had a furlough because of COVID. I also go to AHC and learn skills. I learn to write my name, learn to cross streets, learn walking, learn about money, filling out papers, handwashing and all that. We play pool on Wednesdays and I go to McDonald’s for lunch on Thursday. We go on picnics, go to the park, go to the Kinzua Bridge, the Parker Dam. So I definitely keep busy. On Saturday we had a big picnic. Everybody took an outdoor chair and sat around the fire. … One of my favorite things to do is pictures. I do very fine, detailed colored pictures. Color by numbers. I love to keep organized. And I keep mom organized, too. I’m a great grocery shopper. I know exactly where everything is. So, we’re keeping busy. We have a list of everything we have to do and we take one or two things every day and we get them done.”

As told by Jessica & her mom, Caroline.

Published by

Special Olympics Pennsylvania

The mission of Special Olympics Pennsylvania is to provide year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.

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