Switzer’s Annual Special Olympics

The Switzer Learning Center (Switzer), a Torrance Refinery neighbor, is a nonprofit educational organization serving young people in our community with behavioral and/or developmental challenges. The Center provides individualized intensive special education to help students and young adults achieve academic success, believe in themselves, and to thrive in life.

A longtime partner with the organization, Torrance Refining Company’s Workforce Involvement Program employee volunteers recently supported Switzer’s 23rd annual Special Olympics. This one-day event included Olympic-style competitive activities to help students of all learning abilities exercise and practice their social skills.

Telpher Youman, Dean of Students at Switzer explained “The Olympics Day event encourages community togetherness, healthy competition, and engages students who rarely get to participate in physical, outdoor activities.” This event is simply one of many activities and initiatives led by Switzer to help young people with special needs develop their skills, talents, and abilities.

Refinery employees helped oversee the games and served up a wholesome lunch to these incredible athletes. Torrance Refinery Environmental Advisor Ann Do shared “I love kids and always strive to do what I can to help the young people in our community, so I really enjoyed volunteering for Switzer’s Olympics Day. It was great to see kids with special needs enjoy a day in the park, exercising their abilities and experience being able to achieve through sports. Switzer does a great job and I look forward to volunteering again.”

Switzer Graduation

In anticipation of welcoming family, friends, and community members to its first in-person graduation since COVID-19 appeared, The Switzer Learning Center reached out to Torrance Refinery’s Workforce Involvement Program for assistance to help beautify its campus. On May 27, a group of Refinery volunteers answered the call for help, joined by representatives from the refinery’s contractor Nooter Construction Company. They donned work gloves, grabbed shovels, and began preparing Switzer’s property for the big event.

Switzer’s Executive Director Jeremy Deming, who joined in on the clean-up, was appreciative of the neighborly assistance. Said Deming, “Thank you so much to the Torrance Refinery team for helping out! We made a lot of progress with your support. This will help provide a warm welcome to our students, parents and guests during graduation – a special experience because this will be the first in-person graduation ceremony since the pandemic began. Thank you for being a wonderful neighbor!”

Congratulations Switzer Class of 2022!

Learn more about The Switzer Learning Center and how to offer support, visit the website at https://switzercenter.org/.