Mandan News

Mandan teen to receive international award for students with disabilities

Michael Kaip

Michael Kaip

Michael Kaip, 18, is taking on leadership roles in his school and community to bring sports to students with disabilities. Because of his achievements, Kaip will receive a 2013 Yes I Can! Award from the Council for Exceptional Children at the Yes I Can! Award Ceremony on Friday, April 5, at the Grand Hyatt in San Antonio, Texas, as part of the CEC 2013 Convention & Expo.

Kaip, who has cerebral palsy, is involved with school and community activities, including as a member of a Latin club and leadership group at his school, choir and the National Honor Society. He is also captain of the Great American Bike Race, manager of the varsity hockey and baseball teams and one of the founders of Dreams in Motion, a nonprofit group that helps provide sports activities for individuals with mobility challenges. Michael serves on the board of Dreams in Motion and helps with fundraising efforts and making his sports passion come true for not only himself, but others with disabilities.

“Michael has overcome more in his young life than many people will ever face,” said Chris M. Hoffman, Kaip’s teacher. “There are many times when I feel like I am the student and Michael is the teacher. I have learned more from Michael in the short time that I have known him than I could teach him in a lifetime.”

CEC is an international membership organization composed of special and gifted education professionals who work to improve the quality of life for individuals with exceptionalities and their families through professional excellence and advocacy.

Each year, the program recognizes the accomplishments of 21 students across the country. Awards are given in seven categories: academics, arts, athletics, school and community activities, self-advocacy, technology, and transition.

“The awards were developed to recognize the accomplishments of students with disabilities who have achieved remarkable things,” says CEC President Christy A. Chambers. “Michael is most deserving of this award for his hard work and perseverance.”