Kindlelon "Kobie" Respicio's resume most likely puts yours to shame.
Compete in the Special Olympics? No sweat. He did it twice.
Graduate high school? He did it with more than a dozen honors and distinctions.
Get accepted to college? Make that 17.
Awards? Too many to name, but the latest has him speechless: an honorary ESPY Award from ESPN for his accomplishments in the Special Olympics and success in school.
Born prematurely at 28 weeks, Kobie spent the first three months of his life in the hospital before he was allowed to go home. As he got older, Kobie needed physical, occupational and speech therapy just to keep up in school, which led his instructors to conclude he'd never be able to transition into regular education.
They couldn't have been more wrong.
Not only did Kobie defy their "professional opinion" that he be kept in special education, but he went on to start his own organization, Kobie's Quest, which brings awareness to children struggling with learning disabilities and physical disorders; hold speaking engagements at a number of businesses, health clinics, and superintendent board meetings; planned and co-lead a missionary trip to the Philippines with his boy scout troop; and competed in varsity high school sports.
Oh, and he's also a black belt in karate.
Now, Kobie's pursuing a Bachelor’s-Masters of Arts degree in Justice, Community and Leadership studies at St. Mary’s College. He then plans to get his Doctoral degree at Gonzaga University, which, for this kid, should be a piece of cake.
"My goal is to create more jobs for the special needs, and to educate the whole community, or even beyond, to see the difficulties that we go through every single day," Kobie said. "My goal is to represent the special needs, or be a lobbyist for them, and hopefully do that through the Special Olympics one day."
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