Meet Kate Hwang
Adaptive Athlete Coordinator, AIT, CF-L2
Allow me to introduce myself and share a glimpse of my advocacy that has led me to where I am today. My name is Kate Hwang, and my journey is one defined by unwavering commitment, overcoming challenges, and championing the cause of individuals with disabilities. As a retired Kansas City Missouri Police Officer, I have transition from the front lines of law enforcement to a dynamic role at The Whole Person, where my passion for fostering heath, independence and inclusivity takes center stage.
My story is one of resilience born from adversity. In the line of duty, I faced an unforeseen setback, sustaining injuries that altered the trajectory of my life. Yet, in the face of this challenge, I emerged as a testament to the power of determination and the capacity of the human spirit to preserve. It was during this transformative period that I discovered my true calling – a profound dedication to my community, an ardent embrace of diversity, and an unyielding desire to contribute to the betterment of others.
My values are deeply rooted in the principles of community and diversity. Throughout my career as a Kansas City Missouri Police Officer, I witnessed the strength that emerges when individuals from all walks of life come together to create a safer, more inclusive environment. This invaluable perspective has fueled my ongoing commitment to championing diversity, striving to create spaces where everyone’s unique strengths are celebrated.
At The Whole Person, I have found an ideal platform to continue this mission. As an Adaptive Athlete, I am not only a living testament to the potential of human adaptability but also an active advocate for individuals with disabilities. In my current role, I work to support a vibrant community of adaptive athletes and individuals who share the aspiration of cultivating healthy lifestyles and achieving true independent living. With firsthand experience as a traumatic brain injury survivor, I understand the unique challenges individuals face and am driven to provide guidance, and unwavering support.
My commitment is to foster inclusive communities, celebrate diversity, and promote healthy living habits. I am excited to bring my unique blend of life experiences, values, and determination to contribute meaningfully to The Whole Person in meaningful and impactful ways.
Meet Ariel Jones
Adaptive Sports Coach
Ariel is a Kansas City Northland Native. She considers herself as a "BIG history nerd." As such, she studied at Missouri State University and UMKC for History Education. Her hobby is with music, specifically with collecting records. She also loves photography and has an adorable cat named Cleopatra. But what got her into a coaching position?
It turns out that Ariel had been competitively coaching swimmers since she was 13 years old! That is quite an early start to the career. Needless to say, Ariel absolutely loves sports. She coached swimming at various levels, including recreational, club, middle school, and high school levels.
Ariel is still currently coaching swimmers. Her outgoing and bubbly personality certainly makes athletes more receptive to her criticisms. In fact, she still coaches for multiple groups. Ariel is an assistant coach for the Kearney High School Swim and Dive Team. Impressively, she helps coach both the boys and the girls teams. Additionally, she is also an assistant coach for North Kansas City School District Middle School's team. The impressive effort does not end there, however, as Ariel is also the Lead Age Group Coach for Club North Swimming, as well as the Head Coach for "The Coves Crocs" which is a recreational team, but they also have a summer league.
When asked about coaching, Ariel had this to say:
"Coaching has given me the opportunity to work with those from all different walks of life, while also making an impact on their lives in and out of the pool. Through my different organizations, I have been able to connect with adaptive athletes, helping them become confident and strong, in an individual sport like swimming. I have always said that my job is to help my athletes become the best swimmers and people that they can be, while working hard, and having fun."
Ariel Jones will be working with Adaptive Sports, so all you adaptive athletes out there will get a great coach to guide you forward. With that said, let us all give a big warm welcome to Ariel Jones.