JF&CS is excited to recognize Mark Kelly, M.Ed., as one of our 2019 CHAI Champions. At this year’s CHAI Champions event, JF&CS will recognize five individuals who share our mission to care deeply about promoting community, housing, access and independence (CHAI) for people of all abilities. As the director of special needs for the Newton Parks and Recreation Department, Mark builds community connections through increasing access for adults with disabilities.

Mark is in his 18th year as the director of special needs and currently serves more than 300 athletes with disabilities. He organizes year-round sports and recreation programs that allow people of all abilities to get active through Newton Parks and Recreation.

Mark was inspired to make therapeutic recreation his career after working at an inclusive day camp for kids with disabilities during his time in college and has since worked tirelessly to create programs that support the lives of adults with disabilities. The rich and meaningful fitness experience that Mark and his colleagues have developed has created a supportive community where families treat other children as their own.

By having a program that is open to people of all abilities, adults with disabilities are given the opportunity to experience the fun and healthy benefits that come with fitness and exercise. Mark’s efforts in creating an inclusive environment have shown how incredible his athletes are.

“I am truly honored to be recognized as a CHAI Champion and I’m inspired by the work that JF&CS does,” Mark said.

To learn more about the CHAI Champions event, visit our event page.

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