An Amazing Race gives people a chance to prove they “don’t quit” | MyWindsorNow.com
Emily Wenger
ewenger@mywindsornow.com

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An Amazing Race gives people a chance to prove they “don’t quit”

Jessie Otero was acting at a church camp in Kansas for people with intellectual disabilities when he found his calling.

After spending 30 years in the business of caring for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities, he decided to start his own business in Windsor 10 years ago.

This week, Otero Corporation is hosting the Amazing Race, which last took place in Windsor seven years ago.

The 45 participants were split into 13 three- to four-person teams and traveled around Windsor on Monday following clues to their next surprise event. Monday's activities included a three-legged race, a walk around Windsor Lake, pantyhose bowling and an egg race.

Otero said he has seen participants gain confidence and feel they can succeed, and the motto of the week is "Otero don't quit."

"Typically people with developmental and intellectual disabilities are accustomed to just quitting because failure has been prevalent in their lives," he said. "People will not only experience new things, they'll be successful at things they didn't think possible."

Teams will be eliminated until four teams are left Friday after the rest of the 28 events, which are a surprise to the participants, take place in Windsor, Loveland and Fort Collins.

The Otero Corporation also works to help people with disabilities feel like they are part of the community, which is one reason he chose Windsor as the base for his business, because the community is so welcoming.

"People know these individuals names, and that makes them feel like they're part of the community," Otero said.

About 30 volunteers will help with this week's activities, which include a barbecue Friday to celebrate the end of the Amazing Race.

The interns who were also helping out with the events are another important element of the corporation's outreach, Otero said. Often, Otero said, although they may not go into the industry, interns will have learned more about people with disabilities, and will be more likely to interact with them in whatever community in which they live.

Shouts of "you can do it" could be heard during the egg race event Monday afternoon, as most who were watching cheered on their teammates and members of other teams.

Morgan Slocum, an employee of the Otero Corporation, said she and her team were enjoying the competition.

"I think it gives all these individuals a chance to show that they can do every day tasks, things that people overlook or don't think they're capable of doing," Slocum said. "I think it's a time for them to show what they're made of."

Otero Corporation

To learn more about the Otero Corporation, or to become an employee or volunteer, visit theoterocorp.com or call (970) 460-0385.