Twelve-year-old Amiya Marcelle Irene Miner (Miya) loves art and her goal in life is to become a graphic artist.
Miya is on the Autism Spectrum Disorder scale, as well as having developmental and behavioral disabilities. “In 2014 when I was looking for a program to help us, the Sedgwick County Developmental Disability Organization gave me a list,” said Laqueta, Miya’s mom. “After taking my time and reading all the brochures, I decided Rainbows United fit the needs of my child best.”
Miya began receiving Targeted Case Management services, working with Emma Low, Targeted Case Manager. “Miya is very creative and vibrant,” said Emma. “She enjoys drawing, playing games, and helping others. During one of my first visits with Miya and her mother, she drew a picture of my pet cat based off the description I provided of him. I still have the drawing hanging at my desk!”
Miya is very active and likes to be involved, which is why she really enjoys attending Camp Woodchuck. She has developed many friendships while at Camp. Emma has helped the family apply for Family Support funding to help Miya attend summer camp over the past few years. “Miya lives with her mother, Laqueta, who is a wonderful advocate for Miya’s needs,” said Emma. “Her mother played a critical role in navigating the virtual camp with her this past summer. While I would normally visit the family at their home, during the pandemic I have communicated with Miya and Laqueta primarily through telephone contact.”
Miya started going to Camp Woodchuck in 2017. “Miya interacts more socially since going to Camp Woodchuck,” said Laqueta. “Miya is quiet and shy until she gets to know you then she comes out of her shell. She may not get your joke, but she loves to laugh.”
“Several years ago Amiya was VERY SHY and would hardly talk,” said Tiffany Graf, Family Support Services Assistant Coordinator & Camp Director. “Now she has gained so much confidence. She loves to dress up for the Camp Fashion Show and is always willing to help others. I love her smile that she still tries to hide most of the time.”
“Rainbows has helped tremendously throughout our time with them,” said Laqueta. “But, we never had more support than we did when Camp Woodchuck went remote this last summer. Everyone at Rainbows made sure we had what we needed every week. They communicated with me and let me know of upcoming activities. They are all amazing and appreciated very much. I would and have recommended Rainbows and Camp Woodchuck.”
The Camp Woodchuck Art Show, where campers proudly display their artwork, is one of Miya’s favorite events every summer. “Before the Art Show, Miya’s mom, Laqueta, and I were discussing ideas and she told me that Miya likes to draw and that she is pretty good at it,” said Tiffany. “When Laqueta told me Miya likes to draw characters, I wasn’t sure who they were since my kids are not young anymore. When they arrived the next week with several pieces of finished art on notebook paper, I was shocked and very excited about it. The look on Amiya’s face was priceless because of my reaction. I had no idea how talented she is!”
Miya and Laqueta love to go to Botanica during Christmastime, visit museums, Cowtown, and parks. Miya enjoys shopping, walking, drawing, riding her bike or hoverboard, playing with friends, and nothing is better than going to grandma’s house.
“She is an amazing human being, full of wonder, joy and surprises,” said Laqueta.