The 2015 Special Olympics World Games will take place this year in Los Angeles and Fullerton College alumni, Frank Duarte has been chosen to be a Torch Bearer for the games.
Duarte was chosen along with 20,000 others to carry the “Flame of Hope”. The flame acts as a beacon that unites communities in acceptance.
“I wanted to be a beacon that people can hopefully be inspired by in their daily lives or work with heir families and friends in anything they would like to do,” Duarte said.
Bearers will cary torches through three routes that will all lead to Los Angeles. The relay will begin May 26 through July 15 traveling from the East Coast and all flames will unite in Los Angeles.
The Special Olympics have been empowering people with intellectual disabilities since 1968. The organization has grown to more than 4.4 million athletes in over 177 countries.
The Games will take place in Los Angeles starting July 25 and ending August 2. 7,000 Special Olympic Athletes will compete in 27 different sports including gymnastics, powerlifting and basketball.
Duarte attended Fullerton College from 2010 through 2013 studying in the music department. French horn professor Jerry Garvin describes Duarte as a kind and caring student.
“He had a rough start here. He worked really hard and kept on plugging. He was very inquisitive and always wanted to learn more. He has a very big heart, always caring about other people and caring for his professors,” Garvin said.
In 2013 Duarte transferred to Cal State Northridge where he has been studying music and is graduating this month.
Duarte has been accepted to the Butler University School of Music. He will be studying for his Master in music and thrilled to have been accepted to their composition program.
Duarte has been having a lot of success in composition. Currently, he is a “Composer in Residence” with the Green Band Association. Green Band is an international brass band whose goals are to increase green plants throughout the planet.
“I am really proud and grateful to be working with this fine organization,” Duarte said. “I cant tell you how much this association does to help those in need, whether it be families, tsunami victims, tornado victims, etc.”
Duarte’s composition career has soared over the past two years. His compositions have been performed throughout Southern California and by ensembles in Japan. In 2016, a new commissioned composition by Duarte will be featured during the Tournament of Roses Parade.
Duarte has also been a recipient of many prestigious awards including the National Concert Music ASCAP PLUS Award and Gold White House President’s Service Learning Award.
This summer will of course be very memorable for Duarte.
“I am most excited because Northridge also happens to be a host town and the city will be welcoming delegates for the Special Olympics,” Duarte said.
For more information on the Special Olympics visit. www.la2015.org
To learn more about Frank Duarte, visit www.frankduarte.com