Giordano Corlazzoli

Giordano Corlazzoli
Giordano brings his passion for sports and athletics to his volunteer roles (photo: Ocean Simone Shine)

Reaching shared goals 

As soon as Giordano Corlazzoli walks through the door of the MS Society’s exercise room, a man sitting by the treadmill lifts his arm slightly in greeting.

“Hi Raj,” says Giordano. “Are you ready for today’s challenge?”

“You bet I am.”

Giordano stands close to Raj’s chair and watches as he slowly, but determinedly raises one arm, then the other. Together, they move through several stretches and mobility exercises. When Giordano started volunteering here a few months ago, Raj could barely extend his arms. They were locked by his side. Today, Raj extends them almost fully. The two men, decades apart in age, share excited smiles. They’ve worked hard for this.

Step by step

As he heads home that day, Giordano thinks about why Raj’s success matters so much to him. He’s always been athletic, has never lacked motivation to run faster, or skate harder. He started his kinesiology degree to learn how to support athletes like him. But his work with Raj feels different. He’s watched as his client progressed, step by incremental step. What he loves about his chosen field of study is that his learning is tangible. He can see and feel how a muscle works, how it responds to stimuli, and changes over time. And with the skills he’s learning, he’s helping someone gain back something they’d lost.

“You get out what you put in”

Last year, Giordano scored 98% in a physics class, earning him the donor funded “Stand out from the Crowd Award". He also received three other scholarships. Being a goal-oriented guy, these awards make him feel proud and motivated. But they also give him the confidence, financial security, and time to take on additional hands-on learning activities. He now mentors younger students in the Anatomy Lab, helps the trainer of a high-school football team, works part-time as a trainee paramedic and volunteers at the MS Society with clients like Raj.

Giordano has learned that the same rules apply with elite sports, education or patient rehab: you get out what you put in. Now that he’s discovered his passion for physical therapy, he’s putting in the hours of studying and volunteering to make it into grad school. He knows that, like Raj, he will reach his goals, step by incremental step.