Get to know Specially Gifted
Our Mission: At Specially Gifted Foundation, we believe that children with disabilities deserve to be loved and valued as equals in our society. We respect the unique journey that each of their families face and are dedicated to enriching their lives by providing them with a special gift or opportunity, beneficial resources, and a sense of community.
Our History: Specially Gifted Foundation, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit (Tax-ID 84-4273422 ) established in January 2020 by Bree Kernion Lanham and Macey Price.
After the devasting loss of our precious Meredith to a brain tumor, Chris, Breann and I were ecstatic to learn we had another baby girl on the way. Unfortunately, our elation was short-lived. Kendall began having seizures at three weeks of age and was diagnosed with intractable epilepsy. While Kendall’s constant seizures were the most difficult component of her medical issues to manage, it was far from the worst.
Kendall is sixteen and her physical abilities are on par with a one-year-old despite extensive daily therapies (OT, PT and Speech Therapy). It is difficult to determine her cognitive abilities since she is nonverbal. Kendall has been diagnosed with severe developmental delays, cerebral palsy and cortical/neurological vision impairment (functionally blind). She requires 24/7 care to meet her medical and basic needs.
Despite her limitations, or perhaps because of them, Kendall is the sweetest, most joyful person we know. She loves being around people and always wants to give kisses. Some people may look at Kendall and see her deficiencies, but we view Kendall as a blessing from God – she teaches us every day about unconditional love and what life can be like without hate, anger, jealousy, etc.
As told by Jill Kernion, mother of Kendall and Specially Gifted Co-Founder Breann
Bree Kernion Lanham
Hey guys, I’m Bree Lanham!
I am one of the Co-Founders of Specially Gifted Foundation. Thank you guys for all the support we have received so far in the development of this nonprofit, it has been so exciting to see everything come together and grow from a simple idea I had several months ago! We can’t wait to see where it goes and the positive impact it makes.
I am a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. I have spent three years practicing and one year in medical-related sales.
I have firsthand knowledge of the ups and downs that come with having a family member with disabilities. My youngest sister, Kendall, is sixteen years old and has severe disabilities. She is an absolute angel, the sweetest and purest soul. Though each family like mine has a unique journey, they all come with struggles and hardships. It is hard to see someone you love so much not be able to perform tasks that come easily to most. It is hard when they reach an age where they are expected to care for certain things themselves and they cannot. It is heartbreaking to see them judged or isolated by the outside world who doesn’t understand or know them.
These children and their families deserve to be advocated for and they deserve to feel supported in their journeys. I am so thrilled to be part of an organization whose mission revolves around those facts. I encourage you to be a part of it with me!
Hey ya’ll, I’m Macey Price! I am one of the Co-Founders here at SGF, and I can’t tell you how much it means to me to be a part of this mission. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for following and supporting our journey here. Together we will help so many families.
At the beginning of this year, Bree came to me with this non-profit idea, and within a few hours after we met had me changing my plans for the year to completely dive in and make this vision come to fruition.
Bree and I know each other because I was her little sister’s Therapy Facilitator for 4 years. Along with being a therapy facilitator for her severely disabled sister, I’ve lived and worked in Australia where I carried out the Son-Rise program for a child with autism and was her full-time live-in caregiver. While in Australia, I also volunteered with the Disabled Surfing Association, in the school system as a private teacher to a child with disabilities, and participated in an all-immersive Rapid Prompting Method weekend session with several families in Melbourne. I have been in the alternative therapy world in some capacity for five years both domestically and internationally. Professionally, I have spent the past 4 years traveling the country as a healthcare IT consultant for many hospitals, predominantly in the Women’s Health sector.
I am truly so obsessed with what we are doing here at SGF. These children with special needs have far more to teach us about life than we could ever teach them. I’m looking forward to shining some light on their beautiful abilities and the unique journey each of their families is on. Together I know we can make a difference.
My name is Andrew Lanham and I am married to one of the beautiful co-founders, Breann. I attended Walton High School and am a graduate of The University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!) with a BBA in Risk Management & Insurance.
Currently, I work for AmWINS Brokerage of Georgia as a Property AVP and serve as Treasurer for the Specially Gifted Foundation (SGF).
My first personal experience around a special needs child was spent with my now sister-in-law, Kendall. Quickly after meeting her and being showered with hugs and kisses, I began to truly understand how special she is and fortunate I am to have met and joined this amazing family.
Looking forward to this incredible journey and the wonderful families we meet along the way with the rest of the SGF crew!
My name is Emily Gantt, and I am so thrilled to be a part of the Specially Gifted Foundation, SGF. I am the secretary for this amazing foundation and could not be more moved and inspired by the mission to impact the individuals and families of those with special needs.
I am originally from Rome, Ga and currently reside in Cartersville, Ga, where I work as a full-time speech-language pathologist at a private clinic. I received my master’s degree in speech-language pathology in 2016 from the University of West Georgia. In addition to my education and training, I’ve also been given the opportunity to consistently learn from many top notch occupational therapists, who have left me in awe of the impact that can be made in the lives of children they work with and teach.
I have a passion for helping people communicate, and have been blessed to experience life-changing events that have involved children of all ages with many different types of challenges and needs. From seeing a child use an AAC device for the first time to expressing themselves using sign language, to taking their first steps, or mastering a goal they have struggled with for years, I can truly say that it touches my heart to work with kids who have special needs. I have also had the privilege of establishing relationships with family members as well, who are some of the most inspiring and good-hearted people I have ever met. I look forward to using my skills and knowledge to help impact those who come in contact with Specially Gifted Foundation.
My name is Matt Foster, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be associated with SGF. I was born and raised in Cedartown, Georgia, and I’m a graduate of the University of Georgia with my degree in Political Science. I also hold a certificate in History & International Affairs from Oxford University.
In Cedartown, I represent the citizens of my city as an elected city commissioner. In addition, I am a teacher in Polk School District, where I have worked with many special-needs children throughout my career. I am also a board member and volunteer of a wheelchair race organization that occurs each year in my city, as well as on our local arts commission. Finally, I coach the high school tennis team! Go Dawgs!
I am excited to be a part of the SGF team, and I look forward to playing a role in helping special needs children and families.
Hi there! My name is Mona Xia and I am so excited to be on the board of SGF! I am a Hufflepuff by nature, an optimist by choice and a lawyer by trade. I have a background in corporate law in the health care space, have assisted in the representation of underserved and underrepresented individuals and communities, and am currently in-house counsel for an Atlanta-based company.
I am so inspired by the people and mission of SGF and am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this team and journey. Looking forward to meeting, learning from and hopefully making a difference in the lives of all of the incredible people/families along the way
Kimberly Grady has over 22 years of nonprofit and fundraising experience, throughout the United States and internationally. She’s lead corporate and workplace giving campaigns secured major gifts and sponsorships. She’s taught grant writing to undergraduate students working in law enforcement. She holds Masters’s Degrees in Business Management and Forensic Science, with a BA in Behavioral Science. She earned multiple certifications in fundraising from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. She’s served as a board member for a community college, foundation, and many nonprofits. She’s lead multiple statewide initiatives to help youth and families in need. She is the spouse of a Navy Chief where she has served as her husband’s command Ombudsman to help other military families while their loved one was deployed. She is passionate about helping families and children with special needs. She loves running marathons, cycling, and participating in fitness competitions. She enjoys reading and learning about health and wellness.
I’m Lindsey Williams & I am the Multi-Media Communications!
I was born & raised in Rome, GA before moving to Atlanta & graduating from Georgia State University with a Speech Communications Degree. Because I have a little brother who is on the Autism Spectrum, I took interest in therapy & I sought out a career in Speech Pathology. During that process, I was given the opportunity to work with a sweet, sweet girl with special needs as her therapy facilitator(& best friend) & we’ve been inseparable for the past 3 years.
My free time is usually dedicated to my creative side which loves to design, organize, plan, & make ideas come to life. I cannot wait to pair that with a cause so close to my heart.
Growing up with my little brother & now spending so much time with my sweet Kendall has shown me that all they really need is love, support, opportunity, & community. That’s why I’m ecstatic & so blessed to be involved with SGF that gives those exact things to those with special needs & their families.
Hey guys!! My name is Ashley Elrod and I am so excited to be a part of the Specially Gifted Foundation,
SGF. I am a contributing therapist for the foundation and I am so thrilled to be able to come up with fun
activities, helpful resources and be a therapeutic outlet for some amazing families!
I am originally from Rome, Georgia and currently work in Rome as full time occupational therapy
assistant in a local school system. I graduated with my degree in 2016 and have worked with children
ever since. Throughout my time working with these amazing kids I have been able to work alongside
some amazing physical therapists and speech pathologists who have taught me so much and have
helped me to grow overall as a therapist.
I believe is a passion and a calling; I love seeing individuals overcome limitations life has put before them
and achieve the independence they never thought was possible. To be able to be a small part of that
and help them accomplish goals that lead to life changing achievements is such a blessing! Working in
the school system allows me to develop strong relationships with the kids and their families. Some of
them I will see grow from preschool to graduation and the possibilities during those years are endless.
Watching a child go from requiring full assistance to hold a crayon to seeing their face light up when
they write their name for the first time absolutely warms my heart and inspires me to do more for them.
I can truly say that working with children with special needs has a huge place in my heart and because of
that, I am completely honored to be able to help this amazing foundation change the lives of so many
amazing families. I am so excited to use my skills, knowledge, and resources to help make a lasting
impact on the SGF families.
Hi my name is Zachary Will. I’ve been a full time videographer for the past 4 years since receiving a Bachelor’s in Film from Full Sail University.
I’ve captured hundreds of weddings, events, conferences, speakers. I’ve worked on corporate video production for companies like Pepsi Co, Sears, Home Depot, WebMD, Delta, Bloomberg, Six Flags, Vox Media, Linkedin, Hershey, Comcast, Jack Daniels, and the Atlanta Braves. I’ve worked on television shows with Emmy award winning producers and even directed a movie on Amazon Prime.
But, what really motivates me is telling incredible stories. Which is why I am truly grateful to be a part of SGF and tell powerful stories that can make a difference in people’s lives.
I am a true Enneatype 4: emotionally honest, fiercely creative, and a seeker of authenticity in all facets of life. I’m an observant listener and avid notetaker. I truly enjoy all things creative, but I particularly love the art of storytelling. I fully believe it’s the natural, unplanned moments that depict who we truly are as human beings. Whether it’s a silly joke prompting an uncontrollable giggle, or the wind blowing through your hair to create unpredictably wild movement. Those are the moments that I’ll be looking for during a photo session. When I’m not working, you can usually find me spending time at home with my husband, my nine-month-old son, and our two cats (with a hot cup of coffee in hand and my signature messy bun on top of my head, of course).