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Meet The Supporters Of Kansas City, KS Event At KSSB

Make48 is finishing out the 2022 year with the final regional competition in Kansas City, Kansas. The Kansas State School for the Blind is eagerly anticipating a creative atmosphere and 48 hours of collaboration within their makerspace.

December’s event will be a little different this time around. 18 students from KSSB and in the Kansas and Missouri school districts, will compete within six teams. Each team will have 3 students each, with one student considered to have total blindness, and two members will be low-vision [Team Bios]. Each group will be led by a team captain from some of the country’s best industries and nonprofit organizations. These sponsored teams will work to build an idea for the challenge theme “Chickens in the Kitchen.” They will collaborate with their captain, tool techs and the mentors and bring their idea to life in 48 hours. Meet the companies and team captains who are stepping up to make this remarkable event happen this weekend.

Matt Zimmerman will lead the team Noble Nuggets (Rich, Jimmy and Caleb) at KSSB! Matt will represent The DeBruce Foundation this weekend. Their organization is passionate about helping people better understand their strengths and interests, so they can use that information to explore potential careers and expand their opportunities. Their team is developing programs and tools to change the way people pursue careers. One example is the Agile Work Profiler. By monitoring how individuals make gains through their initiatives, DeBruce Foundation gains insight on how people might become agile in the face of an ever-changing world of work.

Trane Supply is sponsoring the all-female team, Little Red Hens! Mariah Presley, Trane’s educational program consultant, will lead Callie, Cecilia and Lyra during the 2-day event. Trane is a manufacturer of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, along with building management systems and controls. More than just a parts store or supply house; Trane is where you go for superior customer service and technical expertise. Trane provides HVAC service professionals with solutions to help them better serve their customers. They are equipped to help answer the tough questions about your projects and find the right solution!

Team Wild Wings will be led by Kansas City’s children’s hospital Children’s Mercy. Dr. Christina Twardowski will help her team members; Iris, Riley and Addie, in creating a unique project for the challenge. For 125 years, Children’s Mercy of Kansas City has been a leading, independent children's health organization dedicated to holistic care, translational research, breakthrough innovation, and educating the next generation of caregivers. Half a million times a year, a child comes to their doors and they take care of them all, fulfilling a non-profit mission, thanks in part to generous individuals, families, businesses and communities. Children’s Mercy Kansas City believes that every child deserves more. More everyday solutions to keep kids safe and healthy. More life-changing research to fight rare diseases. More working together, with parents, schools and our community.

The Kansas City Eye Clinic and Operation Breakthrough are combining their strengths to lead Team Three Chicks and A Dude! Therese, Braydn and Yvonne will be led by Karita Matlock, a community Kansas City leader.

The Kansas City Eye Clinic is the longest, continuing practice of ophthalmology in Kansas City, dating back to the 1920’s, and is one of the most trusted eye care facilities serving the Kansas City area. The practice has an equally long tradition of providing the highest quality of professional ophthalmic care along with sympathetic and courteous service to patients. The Kansas City Eye Clinic is a total eye care practice, with a staff of eight specialty trained ophthalmologists and optometrists, including a full-service Optical Shop.

Operation Breakthrough is a KC non-profit organization with a mission to support families living in poverty and help children develop to their greatest potential by providing them a safe, loving, and educational environment. Operation Breakthrough has been the backdrop of the Kansas City community since 1971, and currently serves over 700 children every weekday, ranging from infants to 14-year-olds. The organization provides before and after school care, as well as educational programming. In September 2021, Operation Breakthrough expanded its school-age programming to include the Ignition Lab, which provides workforce development and entrepreneurship opportunities for 50 high school students as they aged out of the before-/after-school and summer programs.

One of our longest supporters of the Make48 program is Wet & Forget, the cleaning solutions company headquartered in Chicago, IL. Adam Smith will be the team captain of the team Intelleggtuals (Taylor, Hashim, and Patrick) and will lend his years of marketing expertise to the competition! For over 40 years, Wet & Forget have been marketing and producing cleaning products that make cleaning easier for homeowners. They believe in working "smarter not harder," by eliminating scrubbing and scouring. By listening to their customer needs, Wet & Forget developed easy cleaning solutions for everyday problems. We are thankful that their innovative company has supported multiple seasons of Make48.

Last, but not least, is the KC Blind All-Stars! Team Varicella (Nothing can resist us!) team members Isaac, Gabe and Liam, will be led by KCBAS. Fueled by a passion for equality and inclusion for persons who are blind or have low vision, the KC Blind All-Stars Foundation (KCBAS) supports the Kansas State School for the Blind and is dedicated to providing assistance to low vision and blind students in education, technology, career assistance and experience, sports and music since 1973. One of the Board’s goals is to foster belonging and empowerment for their blind and low vision students at school and in the community. KCBAS listens to and engages with their diverse communities in an effort to make the community more inclusive. The team captains, Nick Privitera, Jonel Loreno, and Liji Thomas, will be on a rotation throughout the weekend.

Like past competitions, teams will be able to gather materials from two hardware stores, thanks to Metal Supermarket and Westlake Ace Hardware. Metal Supermarket and Westlake Ace Hardware are gifting the teams gift cards to use for their materials. Metal Supermarket has been a Kansas sponsor for past competitions in Wichita and were featured in the City Regional competitions. Participants will be able to choose from thousands of metal types, shapes and grades. The home improvement store Westlake Ace Hardware is no stranger to our competitions. The local neighborhood store has been featured in the past seasons (1-4) of Make48.

Two additional Midwest companies are helping KSSB bring the competition to their Makerspace.

NanoPac provides complete solutions and services for individuals with disabilities. Based in Tulsa, OK, NanoPac specializes in blindness and low vision systems and is a supplier of Voice Recognition systems. NanoPac supplies products and services for individuals with disabilities in low vision, blindness, reading disabilities, quadriplegia, blind, legally blind, magnifiers, reading machines, magnification, reading glasses, environmental controls, voice activation, hearing impairments, voice recognition, speech synthesis, text to speech, magnifiers, and door openers. They have served the disabilities community since 1987.

Envision is a nonprofit based in Wichita, KS, that improves the quality of life and provides inspiration, opportunity and community for people who are blind or visually impaired. Envision is one of the largest employers of people who are blind or visually impaired. In the US, 70% of people who experience low vision are unemployed and Envision is on a mission to change that.

Follow the teams and captains this weekend on our social channels for the final event of the year.

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