Special Olympics to NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights

Valor’s Special Olympics program was instrumental in Cooper Youngs ‘14  growth throughout his time at Valor.  The experience working with special needs kids helped Cooper find his own identity and passion recognizing that God has uniquely created each one of us.

“It was a great opportunity to build relationships through my interest in sports,” says Cooper. “I can’t thank my teachers and coaches enough for their mentorship and amazing support as I got involved in various clubs and academic endeavors,” says Cooper. “I still value their relationships today.”

Cooper created Valor’s Special Olympics Club modeling it after his own experience as a kid volunteering for various local teams. With the help of Riley Scott, math instructor, Cooper brought the organization to Valor. Student-athletes spend the fall or winter season mentoring Special Olympic athletes in growing their own athletic skills and preparing them for volleyball or basketball contests hosted by Special Olympics Colorado. Participants include siblings of Valor students, children of Valor faculty or staff, as well as other members of the broader community. 

After graduating from Valor, Cooper attended the University of Redlands and then transferred his sophomore year to Baylor University.  He joined the Vegas Golden Knights soon after graduating college with a Sports Sponsorship and Sales bachelor’s degree.

In September 2018, Annie Hertel Youngs ‘14 and Cooper were married after dating during high school at Valor. They now reside in Las Vegas and are having so much fun in their careers and as newlyweds!

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