Eighteen-year-old Kennedy Ho is a mover and a shaker, and not just because of her exceptional talent at dance. This future Chapman University freshman has won titles as an Outstanding Teen and Distinguished Young Woman while completing her high-school education and training as a company member with several dance troupes.
Beginning her rhythmic endeavors at the age of three, Kennedy branched out from ballet to tap, pointe, hip-hop, contemporary, jazz, and lyrical styles of dance. She regularly performs on stage, and has had the privilege of working with many distinguished directors and well-established dance companies, even becoming a Junior Blazer dancer where she was featured at Portland Trail Blazers’ games for two years. “My second year was especially special to me because my younger sister made the team as well!” she exclaims.
Not one to finish out high school with a common case of senioritis, Kennedy added competing in pageants to her repertoire on top of dancing for an NBA team.
“In 2014 I made a New Year’s resolution that I would do something that really got me out of my comfort zone. In early February I received a phone call from a former dance teacher who explained to me that she was helping put on Miss Washington County’s Outstanding Teen, a local preliminary to Miss America…and they needed one more participant to even offer the title. I jumped right in! I was excited to try something different and glad I could help by participating so that they could offer the title. I was shocked when I won!” Kennedy says.
Kennedy then went on to compete in the Miss Oregon’s Outstanding Teen pageant, and she made it into the Top 10, an unbelievable accolade for this young Oregonian. During the Miss Washington County finals she spoke about the brain condition known as frontotemporal degeneration, a form of dementia her grandmother was tragically diagnosed with several years before.
“Her diagnosis was devastating but it prompted me to get involved with the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration,” Kennedy says. “Since then, I have been working to raise awareness and research funds as AFTD’s National Teen Ambassador.”
Not content to simply spread the word about a diagnosis that hit home for her family, Kennedy has set her sights on a career in healthcare, and even took a Certified Nursing Assistant class as she finished high-school.
“At Chapman I will be studying Health Sciences and plan on becoming a Physician Assistant,” she explains. “Before I am eligible to even apply for P.A. school, I am required to have 2000 hours of patient care. I hope to earn those hours by working as a Certified Nursing Assistant.”
Currently she is the Oregon representative for a scholarship program known as Distinguished Young Women. This position will take her to Alabama during the month of June where she’ll meet 50 other state representatives and will compete for Distinguished Young Woman of America, a title that offers the winner additional scholarship funds.
“Distinguished Young Women’s national platform is the Be Your Best Self program,” she elaborates. “There are five pillars to BYBS and they are, be healthy, be ambitious, be involved, be responsible, and be studious. The last week of April was national Be Your Best Self week and I celebrated by traveling throughout Oregon and sharing with young boys and girls how awesome it is to be your best self!”
For being her best self, and attaining many accomplishments, accolades, and achievements along the way, we think Kennedy Ho is a Cool Girl!