Unified Pair of the Month for April: Kennedy and Madi

The Unified Pair of the Month highlights students from our Special Olympics Kansas Unified Champion Schools who have been pillars of inclusion in their school community. We would like to highlight Youth Activation Committee (YAC) members Kennedy Tilley and Madi Oesterreich, of De Soto High School, as the Unified Pair of the Month for April. The Youth Activation Committee consists of high school students with and without disabilities from across the state who serve as leaders in their schools.

Kennedy is an Unified Partner, who loves fishing, traveling, playing sports, and listening to live music. For her, the meaning of inclusion is “making sure that others are always involved and are fulfilling their purpose on this earth.” The Unified Sports that Kennedy participates in are Bocce and KSHSAA Bowling. One special memory that Kennedy has while being part of Unified was at bowling where she gets to see all of her YAC friends. Unified has opened many doors of opportunity for Kennedy and has allowed her to meet so many new people and make some amazing new friends. She loves to see the growth and the change that Unified is making not only in schools but in the communities.

Madi is an Unified Athlete, who likes to play soccer during her gym class. She also likes to swim, enjoy bonfires, and watch movies. To Madi, the meaning of inclusion is when she and others are involved and included, “I feel happy!” The Unified Sports that Madi participates in are KSHSAA Bowling and Bocce. Her favorite part of being involved in Unified Sports is when Kennedy is there, and also making new friends.

Kennedy and Madi have inspired many to take part and celebrate inclusion not only at De Soto High, but in their community as well. Their YAC advisor and Special Olympics Kansas School Programs Manager Caitlin Pierce said this about them, “Kennedy and Madi are pillars of inclusion and have shown incredible progress as leaders through YAC. They have helped plan Youth Summits and were instrumental in planning their big Spread the Word campaign. It is great to have student leaders who bring fresh energy and ideas to their schools.”

Congratulations to Kennedy and Madi for being selected as the Unified Pair of the Month for April!

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