Allie Libertini wears many different hats: award-winning graduate, community volunteer, two-time silver medal winning Special Olympics athlete.
And she isn’t finished yet.
Libertini graduated as an alumna of distinction from the Community Integration through Co-operative Education (CICE) program in 2017. The award recognizes outstanding graduates who have made significant contributions to their profession and their communities. Additionally, Libertini was given the Premier’s Award on Nov. 26, beating out 23 other candidates to take home the prestigious prize. The Premier’s Awards honour the important social and economic contribution that college graduates make to Ontario and throughout the world.
“It was really fun and exciting, and it was also surprising that I won the award. It was a really fun night.” recalled Libertini.
As part of her program, Libertini completed a work placement at The Working Centre and stayed on as a volunteer alongside her mother. Using the cooking skills she was taught there, she applied for and landed a part-time paid job at the Chopped Leaf in Waterloo, Ont.
When Libertini isn’t busy at her part-time job at the Chopped Leaf, where she works as food prep and assistant server, or volunteering her time at The Working Centre, she can be found playing sports or working out.
“Basketball, I do cross-country skiing, and I volunteer at hockey too. I help out with some of the drills and activities, and I help with setup,” said Libertini.
She competed in the 2017 Winter Special Olympics held in Austria, earning two silver medals and a fifth-place finish in Nordic skiing. She credits her skill and determination to her two amazing coaches, one of them her mother, Ellen.
“She’s the one who inspired me to start cross-country skiing.” revealed Libertini.
Now that she has represented Canada on the world stage and proudly stood on the podium with her silver medals, Libertini is training for a tournament next year to qualify for the 2019 Summer Special Olympics in the United Arab Emirates for powerlifting.
She trains at KW’s first inclusive gym, Active Souls Project, three days a week in preparation for the qualifier in 2019.
“I do powerlifting two days a week, Mondays and Fridays, and I do conditioning on Tuesdays.” Libertini said with a smile. “My deadlift [weight] is 203.5 pounds,” she added.
“My favourite part about being in the Special Olympics is meeting new friends, trying something new and learning the skills that I need about cross-country skiing,” said Libertini.
“I encourage people to experience new things, learn new things and to meet new people.”