McKenna Todd - Idaho Interview by Olivia Bush Nomination by Ashlee King Photography by The Brink Studio Issue 32 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination: McKenna Todd is smart and talented. She is on the National Honor Society for grades and played varsity all 4 years in soccer and softball. She is also the captain of both teams. She signed with Treasure Valley Community College on an athletic and an academic scholarship. McKenna has a nephew and a cousin born with disabilities. They inspired McKenna’s senior project. She made and donated boxes full of things for mothers who had a baby with a disability or passed away. McKenna is inspiring because in an ugly world, she manages to have a beautiful and giving heart.
Delivery day for my senior project.
What is Blessed by Wes, and what does the project involve? Yell me everything about it! Blessed by Wes is my senior project. I chose to make twenty boxes full of items to help families in hospitals that are dealing with infant loss or just had a baby born with a disability. Ten of the boxes were for those that lost a baby and the other ten were for the families that had a baby born with a disability. These boxes had a blanket and beanie, a bracelet, a bag full of spa items for the mother such as a face mask, gum, nail polish, and other things. There were poems, a journal and pen, and even gift cards to Chick Fil A. We also filled an extra bucket full of blankets of different sizes and another bucket full of toys for siblings and other items. I donated my project to St. Luke’s Hospital in Twin Falls, Idaho on November 27, 2019. I presented my project to the Labor and Delivery department. It was such a special day for me, my family, and everyone else that was involved.
What inspired you to start Blessed by Wes as your senior project? Why did you choose it? My family has been blessed by two different forms of trisomy. My cousin Berlyn was born eight years ago with Down Syndrome. She has been a light in my family's life since the day she was born. A few years later, my nephew, Weston Graver, was born on November 27, 2018 and had Trisomy 18. He only lived for four short hours before he passed away peacefully. Both my nephew and my cousin inspired my project. When my sister was in the hospital, she had received a care package that had helped bring her peace and comfort through this hard time. I thought the care package was such a great idea and I wanted to do this for families in Twin Falls that are experiencing this.
Photography by The Brink Studio
Why did you choose occupational therapy as your future career? I chose Occupational Therapy as my future career because I love being around people that have disabilities. I’ve always wanted to be able to help and teach them in any way that I can.
Photography by Gavin Vanderbeek
What is one lesson that playing sports has taught you? Sports have taught me many things. Softball taught me to quickly grow and bounce back from failure. It taught me that everyone will make mistakes and that nobody is perfect. Softball taught me how to grow from failure and to become a better person. You only fail when you stop trying.
Photography by Gavin Vanderbeek
You told me that many people call you a 'quiet leader' and 'lead by example' what is an obstacle or challenge that you had to help your soccer or softball team overcome? I always try to be a team player. If one of my teammates has to run extra, I will run with them. I try to always be the first one on the field in between innings. I always run to my position or if the coach calls us in, I hustle over to her. If I get taken out of the game I still cheer for my team because that’s my job. I try to encourage my team and have a positive attitude. There’s not one specific obstacle that I have helped them overcome. I try to put the team first and work hard and hope that I can teach them something from the way I play.
McKenna will be featured in Issue 32 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!