The McKinney Family
The McKinney Family became a part of the FEN community in 2014 and have remained actively engaged ever since. Their oldest daughter, Sara, does not have hands, but never lets that stop her. She is an outgoing and talented musician and enjoys life just like every other teenager. However, as a result of her condition, the attention in almost all family situations goes to Sara.
At the beginning of their participation in FEN, Sara’s younger sister, Kaelyn, was meek and quiet, always taking a back seat. Kaelyn struggled socially, so she “poured her heart out in her art and music,” according to her mother. After receiving a scholarship for the family’s active participation in FEN programs, Kaelyn attended Appel Farm Arts Camp in the summer of 2015. She studied costume design and photography, and learned to play the piano and guitar. She made friends, developed new skills, explored the arts, took creative risks, and started to find her voice. Her application for the scholarship program at Appel Farm Arts Camp for this summer was filled with excitement and plans for new experiences and old friends. She returned for Camp 2016 on a full scholarship, studying her now beloved photography, taking painting and drawing classes, while adding trumpet to her growing list of instruments.
Over the last two years, Kaelyn has been transformed into a confident and independent young woman. She is more outgoing and willing to speak up, and has lots of friends and a place in the world as an artist. The whole family came together to celebrate Kaelyn during Performance Week, putting her at the center of of the family’s attention.
The Jost Family
The Jost Family joined FEN in 2014 as a part of Appel Farm’s CREATING Families initiative. They, along with 19 other Salem County families, participated in arts workshops and attended events while working on self-established family goals. Among these goals were: better grades, increased socialization, and working toward a new family home. In 2015, Dean joined the football team at school, where he found a passion for a more active lifestyle. He continued to be successful after attending Appel Farm Arts Camp through a scholarship (an incentive of engaged participation and goal achievement in the program) and grew to be more social and outgoing. This year, Dean was named Owl of the Month at Olivet Elementary, and returned to camp with his sister, Grace. In a very exciting development, Appel Farm hired their mother, Ruby, as a nurse at their summer camp. The family recently moved into a beautiful new home, and has continued its active engagement by attending FEN events and working toward new goals.