Arizona Knowledge, Empowerment, and Advocacy Group (AZ KEAG) is a collective group of individuals with a passion for changing the quality of life for both adults and children with intellectual and physical disabilities.
Several years ago, due to some unfortunate circumstances one of Robert and Christina’s family members needed assistance. He was a young adult with special needs that had never had any federal or state services. They made the decision to move him in with them and try to acquire services for him. After a considerable amount of diligent blood, sweat, and tears, they were able to obtain services after multiple rounds of appeals.
By experiencing this, they both better understood what someone in this situation could go through. They decided at that point the passion they directed at acquiring their relative’s service could be utilized to better the special needs community of not only Phoenix, but the entire state of Arizona. They set out to create the organization of the Arizona Knowledge, Empowerment and Advocacy Group.
We've spent a considerable amount of time being told no or discouraged in acquiring assistance for our family member who met all of the areas of qualification for areas of service. We understand the struggle and want to not only change that, but bring awareness concerning the special needs population of Arizona.
Robert was taught early in childhood to be the very best he could be. As a youth, Robert and his mother volunteered with groups such as the Special Olympics and several local food banks. From this early age, he understood the importance to not only assist those in need, but to also give back to the community. While acquiring two bachelor’s degrees and a graduate degree at Arizona State University, Robert focused his nonacademic time by providing respite, habilitation, and attendant care to individuals with special needs across the valley. During this time he also worked as an after school and summer educator within the Washington Elementary School District through federally funded programs. He also provided his time coaching baseball, softball and basketball to children across the valley. After college, Robert has focused much of his career on higher education as a professor for multiple colleges/universities in both Maricopa and Pinal County for almost a decade now.
Christina has always has a passion for helping others. As a child, she volunteered in her school district’s special education program. For this, she received the prestigious City of Gilbert’s Citizenship award. As a young adult, Christina acquired certified nursing assistant certification and worked for several years with seniors afflicted with Alzheimer’s. She transitioned to care at Good Samaritan Hospital within their Level I Cardiac Trauma Center. After acquiring her bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University, Christina focused her career on the special needs community. As a provider of respite, habilitation, and attendant care, Christina understood the need for more awareness within the Valley concerning individuals with special needs and their families. Along with working with the special needs population Christina also spent 4 years as the Developmental Home Director for an agency in the Valley. Christina is currently an instructor for an adapative education program in the college setting.
The mission of the Arizona Knowledge, Empowerment, and Advocacy Group is to support, educate, inform, and advocate for both families and individuals with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities.
Our vision as the creators of the Arizona Knowledge, Empowerment, and Advocacy Group is to foster knowledge, awareness, and support for individuals with special needs and disabilities throughout Phoenix and its surrounding communities. We believe all individuals with intellectual, physical and developmental disabilities are not defined by their disability, but by their abilities and strengths
Thank you to those that came out to support the First Annual AZ Santa Run! We had a great time and are so glad that you could join us.
Mark your calendars now, and plan to join us as we celebrate the Second AZ Santa Run on December 13th, 2014 (12/13/14)! It is a 5k/1 mile event where all participants become one of Santa’s helpers and run/walk a 5k/1 mile course. The 5K course is going to take place on an undeveloped road in the Adobe Dam Regional Park. While the course is on a developed trail, jogging strollers, or an off road wagon are recommended for the most comfort. The 1 mile course is easier to navigate.
This event is a must for all, as we also participate in the World Santa Challenge and compete against other U.S. cities like Las Vegas and Palms Springs to runners in Liverpool, England and Osaka, Japan!
The event will take place on Saturday December 13, 2014. All registrations includes a santa suit and drawstring backpack swag bag.
The AZ Santa Run will be held at Victory Lane Sports Complex located at- 22603 N 43rd Ave, Glendale.
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