CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Curtiz Lee is a professor at Del Mar College's Occupational Therapy Assistant Program and has been volunteering his time and talent to the Special Olympics for more than 20 years.

Lee teaches students not only how to better assist their future patients, but how to serve as a better leader in the community by volunteering.

Lee was recently recognized by Special Olympics Texas as their Volunteer of the Year. He has dedicated 21 years of his time and talen to the organization, and he understands first-hand what the athletes and their families go through.

"I'm a special needs family also," Lee said.

Lee and his wife have helped raise nieces and nephews who also have enjoyed participating in the Special Olympics. He shared one of his most cherished memories of watching his niece race on year.

"She saw me over there with the camera, and when she saw Uncle Curtis with the camera, she went from second place to sixth place because she was mugging for the camera the whole time," Lee said.

To some, it may have been disappointing to not get first place, but Lee said that's not what it's about.

"That's half the fun," Lee said. "That's the fun we have."

Lee said giving back is very rewarding and a no brainer. He plans to continue to volunteer and get his students to do so as well.

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