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My name is Kira Canada, and I am a senior at Waukee High school. Currently, I am enrolled in the Exercise and Sport Science course. As a senior, I transferred to Waukee from Des Moines just this year, so as you can imagine, it was difficult for me to become a part of the Waukee community. The transfer was a choice I made, but it also has been a challenge. One of the reasons I transferred to Waukee was to explore the programs and courses that are offered; APEX was one of the programs that I knew I wanted to participate in.

I decided to join APEX because it was a chance for me to explore different opportunities and experiences outside of the traditional classroom. I chose the Exercise and Sport Science course because I play basketball and enjoy learning about the body regarding mental and physical health. The Exercise and Sport Science course has provided me with a wide variety of learning experiences and has provided me with opportunities that I did not expect.

My time in APEX has been phenomenal and has truly made me a better person.  I have had the honor to work with two amazing organizations: Can Play Sports and Gigi’s Playhouse Des Moines. I helped plan a holiday party for members of Can Play, which is a non-profit organization that brings adapted and no-cost recreational programs to youth in the community. I also get the opportunity to participate in Gigi’s Playhouse adult cooking classes every Tuesday. Through this project work, I get to help adults with Down’s syndrome cook their own meals and learn about the art of cooking. Although my desired career as an attorney is not related to sports science, my instructors still encouraged me to engage in opportunities that were related to my true career goals. Through APEX, I was presented with an opportunity to shadow an attorney who studied at one of the finest law schools in Iowa, Drake University Law School.

The experiences that I have had through the APEX program have been extremely fulfilling. Being a part of this program, and more specifically, the Exercise and Sport team, has introduced me to opportunities, mentors, friends, and numerous professional skills. I truly believe this program gives aspiring professionals experiences they could not get anywhere else.

The APEX community has become a family for me. It is hard to find where you fit in when you are the new girl. The APEX community welcomed me with open arms and made me feel welcome on day one. I felt a sense of belonging the moment that I walked into the building, which is something that I will never forget!