Remarkable Women is part of a nationwide Nexstar Media initiative to honor the influence that women have had on public policy, social progress and the quality of life.
Leading up to International Women’s Day, ABC4 Utah will highlight four local women who inspire, lead and forge the way for other women. It’s not just about one day or one month — it’s about what they do, day-in and day-out.
ABC4 Utah’s second Remarkable Women Local Honoree is Joleen Kearsley.
Joleen is the mother of a beautiful young woman named Katie who was diagnosed with Down Syndrome at birth. Because of her circumstances with having a special needs child, Joleen has dedicated her life to the special needs people of our community. She started a program 20 years ago to include any person, child to adult, who meet once a week to do activities, sports, plays, music, etc. Every year they put on a special needs nativity for Christmas. This year there were 30 plus participants. This year they had to move it to the high school to accommodate everybody who wanted to see it. They had every seat full and people standing against every wall and in the aisles. Joleen was also instrumental in integrating special needs children in public schools in Morgan County. She and her husband Doug have also built an equestrian center called the “I Can Center” for special needs people to come and ride horses for emotional and physical therapy. They also welcome church groups, scout troops, and many others to use the center when needed. Joleen’s identical twin sister is by her side always working hand-in-hand to assist her in anything she is involved in. She would give the clothes off her back to anyone in need. There is so much more I could say about this amazing woman. She deserves to be recognized for her amazing spirit and contribution to making our community a better place.