CALENDAR

Meet Jennifer Jennings, Our July Health Messenger of the Month

This month of July, we are happy to announce our Health Messenger of the month as no other than Jennifer Jennings. Jennings, now 18 years of age, has been a member of Special Olympics Kansas since 2013, but has been passionate about her health and wellness since she was younger. Before 2013, Jennifer’s mom, Amy Jennings, said, “Jennifer was involved in recreational softball for three years before joining SOKS. By the third year, she was struggling with what to do with the ball and I thought ‘maybe we need to look into Special Olympics’. We went online and got in contact with Nan [previous Local Coordinator for Blue Valley Special Populations] and the rest is history.”

In 2020, when COVID hit, Jennings soon realized that there wasn’t going to be much physical activity outside, or at all for that matter, so she soon befriended the current Health and Fitness Coordinator with SOKS. “Building a friendship with him allowed us to be introduced to Health Messengers”, said Jennings’ mom. “WIth COVID we didn’t have that physical interaction and it made it hard to have a strong mind and relationship with others.”

Being a Health Messenger has helped Jennings in numerous ways, especially during such a difficult couple of years. “It helped me learn how to do other things while being stuck inside for a long time. It helped me exercise more often and helped me cope with my mental health,” she exclaimed. Jennings then went on to elaborate on how much it has helped her in being able to learn about Strong Minds and how to keep a “fit” mentality. She then finished by saying, “I think mental health and finding the positives in things is super important.”

Not only has being a member helped Jennings in her personal fitness journey, but it has allowed her to get outside of her comfort zone and truly help others in their journey, as well. “It is really fun learning how to live a healthy lifestyle. When you learn all that, you can help others exercise, eat healthy, and have strong minds,” she said. I love being able to go out and be around others and participate in educating them on their mental health.”

Jennings’ passion for mental health doesn’t fall far from the tree, as Amy Jennings evidently sees the value in programming. “I learned alot from her going through Health Messengers,” she chimed in. “The kids and all of us really want to see that sense of belonging. Having those physical relationships are so important.”

We, with SOKS Health and Fitness, are so proud of Jennings and her dedication to Health Messengers. Her personal efforts to achieve a fit mind and body go unnoticed and her work-ethic is unparalleled. We are very lucky to have her as a member and cannot wait to see the individual goals she continues to achieve, while her toolkit for helping others continues to grow. Until next month, thanks for joining in the member’s celebration!

For more information on SOKS Health Messengers or heath and fitness programming in general, please contact Erin McDaniel at mcdaniele@ksso.org.

Blog Categories:

Blogs

Celebrating Champions

 

Support Us: