Recipient Kammie Fouquette, her social worker sister Marie, have ties to Edwards-Pelican area
Freedom Resource Center for Independent Living, Inc. invites the public to join in honoring great volunteers, people who stand up for disability rights, and employers who are supporters of employing people with disabilities.
Freedom, based in Fergus Falls, will post on Facebook an ongoing virtual awards event.
November through Nov. 24: Weekly Award Recognition
November 30 – December 4: Celebrating Freedom Resource Center
This year Freedom Resource Center is proud to announce the Youth Advocate of the Year: Kammie Bleu Fouquette.
The Youth Advocate of the Year Award is presented to a youth age 22 and under in appreciation for their advocacy work in the field of Independent Living. A youth advocate is someone who stands up for their own rights and the rights of others living with disabilities, and through self-advocacy, they overcome barriers that exist in our society.
Kammie Bleu is someone who never allows the phrase “you can’t” stop her. She has overcome many barriers in her fifteen years.
As stated by Independent Living Advocate Marie Fouquette, “I believe she has changed the minds of the staff on her team who may not have realized her full potential. Kammie Bleu will astound you!” Kammie was featured on November 5 on Freedom’s Facebook page.
Kammie is Marie’s “little sister.” The Fouquette family has ties to Pelican Rapids and the tiny village of Edwards, in the Maplewood hill country southeast of Pelican.
“We have always considered Edwards as the middle of everywhere…The best place on Earth,” said Marie, a social worker, who is a 2006 graduate of Pelican Rapids High School in 2006.
Marie has been with Freedom Resource Center since 2016, at the Fergus Falls location. She said she nominated Kammie for the optimism and resiliency she has displayed throughout 2020.
At the age of two years old, Kammie’s family was told she wouldn’t be able to walk. She started walking at three and a half. At seven, Kammie decided she wanted to learn how to jump. She practiced lifting her feet for a year, and at eight she jumped for the first time. Over time Kammie continued to overcome expectations.
Most recently, Kammie has researched mountaineering and summiting Mt. Everest and has attempted to convince her family members and friends it would be a great idea! However, Kammie’s goal shifted, and instead she would like to meet Mountaineer Dan Mazur. Today, she is working hard in school with the goal to graduate early. Kammie has initiated Zoom meetings and led her IEP meeting weekly over the summer.
At 15 and a half, she has learned the self-advocacy skills needed to push forward and conquer barriers she will face in her lifetime. She accesses resources in order to build skills allowing her to self- advocate and reach her goals. She works extremely hard to incorporate coping skills into her daily practice which enables her to continue working at her goals towards independence. She has changed the minds of the many professionals she has worked with who may not have realized her full potential. By advocating for herself, Kammie is advancing the idea that those living with disabilities should be treated equally and this ultimately creates a more person-centered approach to working with people with disabilities.
Freedom Resource Center for Independent Living, Inc. is a non-profit disability rights organization that has been serving people with disabilities for over 30 years.