I am a Student Researcher in the Astonished! Teaching and Learning Centre (A!TLC). I graduated from Grenfell High Community School in 2011. I am the youngest in my family (except for my dog). I have two sisters and one brother. I also have one niece Zoey who I like to cheer on at baseball games. My brother Reed and his wife Renee are having a baby so I will have another niece or nephew by the end of this year!
Two and a half years ago, when I started at the Astonished! Teaching and Learning Centre (A!TLC), I was nervous because everything was new and the University of Regina is a big place. Now I am confident and comfortable with both the people and the place. I am so happy for each day that I spend at the A!TLC. It is a place where I can see my friends and a place where I can give and receive lots of support. Everyone there helps me reach for my dreams and we all have lots of fun together.
Making decisions can be hard for me, but once I know what I want I am focused and go for it. With the support of my family, friends, and Astonished! staff I take on all kinds of adventures. My sister Tanys is a professional photographer and I really like what she does. I want to become a better photographer so I do regular photography exercises as part of my work in the A!TLC. I have a special clamp that holds my iPad to my chair and I use a remote control to compose and take my photos. This helps me keep the iPad steady while I decide what I want in the photograph.
Last fall I was a mentor in the University of Regina Social Work class Issues in DisAbilities Studies. I liked mentoring the social work students in my team. Because I am developing my photography skills we photographed places in Regina that were inclusive. At the end of the course I told my mom “We aren’t focusing on disAbility, we are focusing on ability. I am helping them focus on what they can do to be good enablers in community.”
As part of the Astonished! Summer Literacy program I wanted to learn to text so I could send messages to my sister Lynice (you probably figured out my family is important to me). With the support of the Astonished! staff I really expanded my literacy skills and hope to keep doing so.
Right now I am planning a road trip to Alaska with my mom, dad, and my companion Silvia. It would be easier to fly to Alaska but the airlines won’t let me use my seat insert on the plane and I can’t travel without my seat insert. It provides the support that is necessary for my spine. My dad can make almost anything so he made a way for my seat insert to fit in the truck. We are going to drive to Alaska with our travel trailer. I have already started a blog for my trip. You can follow me at Kennen’s Dream Trip. I chose Alaska as a destination because Lynice and her husband Kris live there.
My next goal is a trip to Mexico! My companion Silvia is from Mexico and I would like to see her country. I have already met a lot of Silvia’s friends and family through Skype and Facetime, and am excited to say “Hola!” in person! There is so much to look forward to.