Mastering the Journey of Life
For over twenty-three years, Kate grew up facing numerous joys and challenges that came with identifying herself as a person with a disability.
The connection Kate has to the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities (SMD) spans as far back as she can remember, which contributed to her success in life.
She participated in the SMD Recreation and Leisure Summer Buddies Program at a very young age. “Going to Camp Arnes with SMD was the highlight of my years when I was growing up. I couldn't wait for the summer, and I always counted down the days until I went to camp. I will never forget the many memories I have from those summers.” exclaimed Kate.
As Kate grew older, she worked three summers at Camp Arnes. During her first summer she was up at Camp Arnes four days a week as a liaison between the camp and the kids that were brought by SMD. “I talked to many cabins and staff at Arnes about disability inclusion and my life journey as someone with a disability.”
Through the SMD Independence for Youth Program, Kate helped set up a youth with 24 hour care and an apartment for a week where they could learn some independent living skills. Kate recalls her own personal experiences with the program, “I still remembered many of the skills I picked up that week which helped me when I moved out into my own apartment in 2008.
In 2013, Kate was the recipient of the SMD Graduate Bursary at the University of Manitoba. As a first year graduate student, she was awarded $5,000 towards her education for meeting the eligibility requirements in the Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Disabilities Studies.
When Kate heard the news that she was selected for the bursary, she was overjoyed,
“I am deeply indebted to SMD for this incredible opportunity. I decided to take my Master’s in Disability Studies because I've always thought disabled people should receive a lot more credit and attention than they do. They've kind of flown under the radar and I would like to have even the smallest part in changing that. If I can impact one person's life by introducing them to a positive portrayal of disability, then I feel like I will have done my job in life.”
Kate exudes a positive attitude and gift of writing that has allowed her to thrive and reach her goals.