Panther Personality: Kendyl Rico

Nik Shay

Some students are looked at differently.

Maybe it’s because of the way they dress or maybe the way they carry themselves. 

For some, however, it’s a whole different ball game. That’s why senior Kendyl Rico works with them, to help others understand they aren’t so different.

“People tend to think that the special needs kids don’t understand what they’re saying, so they will talk to the kids like they would a baby,” Rico said. 

She loves working with kids, which is why she loves being a Panther Pal’s basketball coach. 

“When it isn’t basketball season, we love to play board games like Candy Land,” Rico said. 

Her sophomore year, Rico started working with students that have disabilities. 

“I originally had no interest in doing it. I started mainly because the teacher requested me after she had my brother.”

Rico’s brother was a peer mentor during high school, just like her.

Prior to being a mentor, Rico had very little background with it. 

“I have two cousins with autism and one with Down Syndrome, so I have a little,” Rico said. 

Now, Rico has made several connections that will last a lifetime.

“There’s two kids I’ve really connected with. Conner McCaulley and Andrew Woolery,” Rico said. “I have no clue how or why I connected with them. There was just a click and it stuck.”