2. Shea

K2 Nominated Smiles is designed to honor unique individuals doing their part to make an impact on their communities. The goal is to feature local businesses, local artists, and special people.

Shea is the perfect candidate to receive a Nominated Smiles Art Box. She is 16 years old, facing all the struggles that come with growing up battling cerebral palsy. Shea, with her positive enthusiasm, refuses to feel sorry for herself. Her goal prioritizes the forward progress that people in wheelchairs experience. She has filmed videos around Deerfield, IL proving accessibility needs continuous improvement. Shea has opened my eyes to the battles people in wheelchairs must overcome all over the world. 

Shea inspired her mother to start ‘Educating Outside the Lines.’ A direct quote from Shea reads, “I feel invisible. I wish everyone could spend the day in a wheelchair, I wish everyone could see what it’s like to have a disability, because I think they could understand me better.” If all people took the time to speak with someone in a wheelchair, maybe we could find ways to help improve the world and also appreciate the every day benefits we take for granted.

Shea came into my life years ago through my sister and her family. MKA Architectural Design Group designs quality homes throughout the Chicagoland area. Having grown up in the northern suburbs, they have watched everything transition over the last four decades, from housing structures to school district priorities and designing handicap accessible homes for future generations. Their three teenage children and locally owned business have introduced them to the variety of lifestyles families face all over Chicago. 

Individuals like Shea, organizations like ‘Educating Outside the Lines,’ and local businesses like MKA give me confidence that my hometown community of Deerfield, IL will lead the way in making strides to improve the struggles people with disabilities are forced to battle. Shea’s efforts will pave the way for others, making a positive impact for future generations.

Thank you so much Shea!  

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