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KYEA Welcomes New Executive Director!

Shannon Kennedy- a Caucasion female with blond curly hair wearing glasses and a floral shirt and green jacket and standing outdoors

The Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy proudly announces the appointment of Shannon Kennedy as Executive Director. With a decade of experience in the Topeka non-profit sector, Shannon brings a wealth of knowledge and a proven dedication to child welfare and advocacy. She has a strong background, having previously served in IT as a project manager within the engineering industry before dedicating the past ten years to the Topeka non-profit arena. Her transition showcases a seamless blend of managerial expertise and a heartfelt commitment to improving the lives of youth.

Outgoing Executive Director Julia Connellis shares sentiments of confidence in Shannon's abilities, stating, “Passing the torch to Shannon is a tremendous moment for youth with disabilities who are the center and driving force of KYEA, the passionate staff and volunteers, the dedicated board of directors and for myself. The experience, leadership style, and determination are just a few strengths that make Shannon a great fit. KYEA is a journey of love and deep-rooted belief in all youth. I am confident in Shannon, knowing she will lead with her head and heart and add to this beautiful journey! “

Board President Dallas Hathaway expresses enthusiasm for the future, stating, “On behalf of the KYEA Board of Directors, I am honored to welcome Shannon Kennedy as the next Executive Director of the KYEA. She brings a wealth of experience in nonprofit management and organizational leadership. As a parent, she is passionate about creating supportive and inclusive environments. Her enthusiasm and determination will be a great asset for not only youth with disabilities across Kansas but also our community partners and supporters. The KYEA has established a deeply rooted culture over the years, and we are excited to have her join the KYEA family.”

Shannon expressed her excitement for the journey ahead: "I am honored to join the incredible staff and youth of KYEA and continue the vital work of empowering youth with disabilities that Julia and staff have built on over the last 18 years. My passion for equipping youth with disabilities with the skills and confidence to advocate for themselves, develop leadership capabilities, and make a meaningful difference in their community aligns perfectly with the mission of KYEA. I look forward to building upon the fantastic foundation already set by Julia."

The Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy anticipates significant growth and impactful initiatives under Shannon Kennedy's leadership, further solidifying its commitment to the community.

We are excited to add Shannon to the KYEA team!

Welcome Shannon!

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