Our Board

Shannon Dewey Alford

Director and Board President

I am a Mom of 4 and all of my children have dealt with health issues, from easily manageable, to life altering. I’ve been living the Special Needs parent life for over 20 years now.

I do contract work for an engineering company, but my heart lies in helping people, especially those of the Exceptionally Abled Community. Not just families with children, but families with adults as well. Disability doesn’t end at age 18 or 21.

When I first became a Special needs Mom, I was so lonely. I had no one to talk to. No one to explain to me what programs were available to help my family and others like us. I just bumbled by the best way I could. When my 4th, and complete surprise child was born and then we realized that he was Intellectually disabled and had numerous other health issues, I was devastated. And I was truly lost. I started a Facebook blog for my child called “TheAdventuresOfCarterKnox” just to update family members, and honestly to help me work through my feelings. So many people reached out to me to tell me that my words had an effect on them. That I either helped put their feelings into words, or I helped them understand more of the realities of Special needs parenting.

No one is out there chasing down Special Needs families to help them. And I decided I wanted to change that. I spent 2 solid years feeling the Lord calling me to this program, this ministry, and finally all the pieces came into place, and with the help of our amazing board, iCARE was born. My life’s calling is to help other families like mine travel along this journey.

Julie Town

Board Vice President and Assistant Director

I am a native of Zachary, LA who graduated from LSU in 2021 with my Masters in Communication Sciences and Disorders. I’m a licensed Speech Therapist and I have the privilege of working with adults and children with communication and feeding/swallowing disorders.

I have a passion for the Exceptionally Abled. and I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve this community.

In my free time I enjoy traveling with friends, antique shopping, and trying out new cuisines.

Allaina Addison

Advocacy Director

I am a home health nurse of 5 years, a Nurse for 10. My husband, Nathan Addison and I, have been married for 10 years and have a 3-year-old. I was asked to help with this foundation and gladly accepted. I am looking forward to what we will be able to accomplish in the Brookhaven and surrounding areas for the Exceptionally Abled community.

Von Hart Haney

Co-Treasurer and Co-Fundraising Chair
I am a resident of Summit I have three beautiful children, two biological and one bonus son. my amazing husband and I have been married for 10 years. We are members of New Vision community church, where we are actively involved with our youth. I work for Appraisal South, Inc in McComb, which allows me to meet so many wonderful people from all walks of life. growing up, my family’s commitment to foster children as well as being a former JJ white girl Scout, left me with a huge heart to love people. my love for people compels me to help, love, and serve those around whether lending a helping hand or finding help for the homeless. I am honored to be asked to serve on this board and cannot wait to see God’s plans for this amazing foundation

Kendra Jenkins

Programs Director

Kendra Jenkins is a native of Brookhaven, MS and is an active member of the community. She holds a Bachelor’s of Music Education from Alcorn State University, a Master’s of Music from the University of Mississippi and is currently a Ph.D student at UM. She works as a band director, and is a Specialist in the 41st Army Band. Kendra is a church musician and teaches private lessons to students in the community.

Kendra credits her mother, Mrs. Ida Jenkins who is a retired Exceptional Ed teacher, for her sensitivity and understanding of people who learn and experience the world differently. Over her extensive teaching career she has worked with many students with exceptionalities, but did not realize the depth of the challenges children with disabilities face until her two children were diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

In an effort to assist others seeking information regarding Autism, Kendra started a social media page called “Rii-Play”. “Rii-Play” is dedicated to educating and informing others about Autism Spectrum Disorder to promote awareness and acceptance. In addition to information, Kendra shares her personal experiences as a single-mom parenting children on the spectrum, hoping to provide encouragement and insight to others.

“Teaching music is my gift and passion but teaching others to be kind is my calling…not just for my children, but for others just like them.”

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