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This Fundraising Page Is For
Jennifer Jennings

Amount Raised
$100.00
Fundraising Goal $1,000.00

Go Team Kansas!

Thank you for visiting my online fundraising page for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games! Donating through this site is easy, fast and secure. I appreciate your support!

About Jennifer

Hometown: Overland Park, KS

Team: Blue Valley Blue Streaks

Age: 17

Special Olympics Kansas Athlete for: 8 Years

USA Games Sport: Bowling

Other SOKS Sports: Cheerleading, Tennis, Aquatics, Bocce, Volleyball, Cycling, Cornhole

What is your ideal dream job?

"Working with animals either at a shelter, pet shop, or zoo. Working at a shop that involves drawing, making crafts, or paintings, like Pinot's Pallet. Be a nature or animal photographer because I like to be creative and be outdoors. I want to work at a place that lets me share my talents, beliefs, & wisdom, helping those in need, expressing myself, inspiring others, doing things that make me happy and bring happiness to others."

What accomplishments make you most proud of yourself?

"When I was selected as the 2019 Kansas Miss Amazing Junior Teen. This gave me the opportunity to be a medal ceremony volunteer by presenting medals and ribbons to Special Olympics Athletes and inviting other Kansas Miss Amazing Queens and Princesses to help volunteer. This brought joy and happiness to everyone, especially the athletes, involved in the medal ceremonies. I was able to attend the National Miss Amazing Event in Chicago. While there I made friends with Miss Amazing Queens from other states. I enjoy talking to and inspiring other girls to join the Kansas Miss Amazing program. I attend Blue Valley Northwest High School and during my freshman year, I was the only freshman on the girls’ bowling team. I helped my JV team earn the Blue Valley District Championship, bowled at Regionals, and earned my Varsity Letter. I bowled at Regionals again during my Sophomore year and finished the season as the top average bowler (out of 16 girls). I am so excited to be bowling again for my Junior year. I enjoy making friends with my teammates and I have a great coach who helps me be a better bowler. I am also a member of the KCAC (Kansas City Athletic Cheer) Team Inspire Cheerleading squad-a team comprised of those with disabilities. We have a great coach, hard-working teammates and volunteers, and we get to perform at different venues. I enjoy cheerleading because it’s an amazing, friendly environment where we encourage each other to do our very best. Just like Special Olympics, we meet others with all kinds of disabilities. We play sports and do fun activities like Special Populations. We make such great friends and we always encourage each other to do our best and help each other. We just have fun. During my 6-8th grade middle school years, I acted and sang in all the (5) plays and musicals and earned to have my name permanently written on the school’s Wall of Fame. The plays and musicals gave me the confidence to sing and act my heart out and let my true spirit shine through. Singing the National Anthem at the 2019 Special Olympics Kansas Summer Games in Wichita, KS"

How has Special Olympics changed your life?

"It has given me the opportunity to play sports that I most likely wouldn’t have had a chance to do in school. I love sports and being active. The best part is that I got to meet and make friends with many people with so many different disabilities. I’ve grown and I have seen so many others grow and get better with encouragement. Special Olympics has helped me to learn so much from other people. I’ve learned to understand others while they understand me. We have amazing coaches and volunteers who always encourage us and help us to do our best in everything we do. It’s given me the desire to show everybody that even though we have disabilities, we are capable of so much, that there is so much more to each and every one of us. We all make great friends with each other. We want to encourage others that even though it may be hard, we can do anything if we’re passionate and work hard. I want to encourage others to share their strengths and to share their abilities of what they can do. I want to help inspire others with disabilities to share their personalities, their talents, and capabilities of what they can do with others so that we can all be seen for our abilities."

What challenges have you had to overcome, and how did Special Olympics help you? 

"For a long time, I felt out of place because of my disability. I felt like I couldn’t fit in and nobody could understand me. I wasn’t able to play sports with other kids who didn’t have disabilities. Sometimes people wouldn’t give me a chance because they only saw my disability and they didn’t know how to understand or how to work with me. I lost self-confidence, I didn’t understand why I had this disability, and I didn’t know how to share it. Now I know how to share my talents, personality, and my beliefs. Special Olympics (and Kansas Miss Amazing) has allowed me to be around others with so many different disabilities and to see how we all struggle with life. I see athletes playing sports and making friends. The coaches and volunteers help all of us by teaching us and encouraging us to do our very best. I still felt out of place at first because I was still struggling with school by being bullied. Special Olympics was a safe place for me. I got to meet others with disabilities and was able to play sports I had always wanted to do and play sports I’ve never done before. I tried them and play them every year since I started Special Olympics. I’ve made so many friends and got to know so many people.  The environment was that it didn’t matter what your disabilities were or where you came from. What mattered was that we are all capable of something. We learned what our abilities are, what it is we like to do, and the sports we like to play. We have the opportunity to do those things. We’ve made so many friends. It did take me a while but I finally felt like I could be myself and share my abilities of what I’m capable of. I finally feel like I found a place where I belonged and could be proud of my disabilities and not let it affect me. I’ve learned to not let other people affect me because they don’t understand me. It’s a place where everybody can be themselves and we make so many friends. Everything about it helped me a lot even throughout school.  I am proud of Special Olympics. "

What does attending USA Games mean to you?

"I never thought I would be able to attend the USA Games or I thought it would be years from now if I ever did get to go. Attending the games would help me to be able to really share my love of bowling and prove to myself and to others that I am capable of playing a sport just like everybody else. I’ve worked really hard for this opportunity because I am really passionate about Special Olympics and bowling and being able to play for my high school bowling team. Going to the games would be like climbing Mt Everest, that I would be able to show the world that I am capable of so much and I have abilities. I want to be able to share this passion I have with other athletes and with other people who will be there. I would be able to make friends and learn more about others of what they love, what they do for fun, and for Special Olympics. This opportunity is like a reward I’ve earned and it makes me feel I am being accepted. I finally feel like I have shown others who I am and what my abilities are, what I’m capable of, and what I’m passionate about - Special Olympics and bowling. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I may never have in the future. This opportunity is a dream come true by being able to bowl and sharing my abilities, capabilities, and my passion. I am so excited to meet other athletes from other states. I will do my absolute best to make my teammates, Special Olympics Kansas, and my family very proud.  "

What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know?

"I am very passionate about the book, Touching Spirit Bear, because it changed my life forever. At the time, I was going through a rough time at school where I was angry and depressed. This book helped me to find myself, to know who I am, and to know who I wanted to be. It helped me to deal with things that were going on at my school, like dealing with bullies, controlling my emotions, and understanding others’ feelings. The book taught me to see the good (and bad) in others. It helped me to learn forgiveness, love and happiness, and healing and friendships. It made me realize that I wanted to be a better person, how to be proud of who I am. It taught me to not pay attention to the bullies at school or to others who would try to bring me down. It helped me learn to forgive myself and encourage myself to be a better person. The book changed and touched me and made me the person who I am now. I am full of passion, empathy, forgiveness, kindness, and have so much love for others. It helped me want to encourage others and to share how I am and help others to do the same. I wanted to help others share their talents, be who they are, and to be seen as someone who is capable of doing things. I wanted to inspire others to share their capabilities and abilities. Touching Spirit Bear saved my life and I want to do the same for others. I want to help others show their passions, talents, and capabilities to other people. I am a very forgiving and an empathetic person. I have a way of seeing the good and the bad in others. I want to be able to understand how people feel and why they feel a certain way. I want to be able to help them to become better. I want others to share their stories, share their passions, their capabilities, and share the things they want to do in their lives. Seeing the light in the darkest moments and wanting that light to keep shining and overpower the darkness. I’ve been through self-discovery where I realized I was a good person. I want to share the things I’ve been through. I’m a good person and I’ve been through so much. I don’t want the negative things and my disability to affect me anymore. I try to look at the good in others and I want others to share themselves. I want their spirits to shine through, make friendships, inspire others to be themselves and share their abilities, their passions, and their experiences to the entire world."

Special Honors: 

 At the end of my 8th grade year, I earned the privilege to write my name (permanently) on my middle school’s Wall of Fame wall. As a Freshman, I helped my JV bowling team win the Blue Valley District Championship, bowled at Regionals, and earned my Varsity Letter. During my Sophomore year of high school bowling, I was highlighted as a Top 10 athlete (#4) because I was doing so well on my bowling team and I finished the year as the top average bowler (out of 16 bowlers). I was selected as the 2019 Kansas Miss Amazing (KSMA) Junior Teen and represented the state of Kansas at Nationals in Chicago. As Junior Teen, I became a Special Olympics Medal Ceremony volunteer and invited other KSMA Queens and Princesses to help present medals and ribbons to athletes. During the 2021 KSMA Event, I was awarded the Community Service Award. In May of 2020, I was awarded the KCAC Team Inspire Cheerleading Leadership Award. In February 2021, I was inducted into the Blue Valley Northwest National Honor Society.

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