April 20, 2023
Steven Skis His Way to Special Olympics Success
A person we support is a frequent medalist in skiing competitions through Special Olympics New York.
Steven Kozinsky started skiing at a young age, racing down slopes alongside his dad and other family friends. He loved the excitement of heading downhill, feeling the rush of the wind as he sped through the snow.
Decades later, Steven now skis competitively, participating in the Special Olympics every winter season. Most recently, he took part in alpine skiing at the 2023 State Winter Games at Greek Peak in Cortland, New York. He won a bronze medal in his category – one of many medals he’s received over the years.
“My proudest moment is getting gold medals,” Steven says. “I’ve got a few of them.”
Skiing events Steven has participated in include the Giant Slalom and the Slalom, competitions that involve skiing between a series of gates. His alpine skiing team, the Genesee Bandits, have found great success, winning gold, silver, and bronze in different events.
Lisa Beierling from Person Centered Services has coordinated care for Steven for more than 8 years, connecting him to terrific opportunities in his community. She attended Steven’s most recent competition at Greek Peak, encouraging his amazing athletic abilities.
“Steven’s Life Plan is always reflecting his accomplishments,” says Lisa, who use a life planning process to track Steven’s needs and goals.
Steven truly appreciates his partnership with Lisa. “I like that she does meetings with me every month,” he says. “She comes and talks with me.”
Steven works as a cleaner at a local industrial park, where he keeps office spaces looking sharp. Lisa has been a consistent advocate for him at his job, speaking with his managers to ensure he has a great work experience that leans into his skills and interests.
She also helped link Steven Kozinsky to People and Places, an organization that offers vacations for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Through a group program, he has visited the Thousand Islands, the Finger Lakes, Cooperstown, Lake George, and other memorable places across New York State.
“It’s extremely rewarding to advocate for the people I work with,” says Lisa, who is grateful to empower Steven through her role. “I’m the ‘ask anything’ person. If someone I serve doesn’t know something, they can always come to me.”
Person Centered Services is proud to connect people like Steven to the programs and services that help them reach their potential! We look forward to seeing Steven on the slopes in future Special Olympics Games.
Watch a quick video to learn more about Steven and Lisa’s work together: