Community Volunteer/PCA Champion
Local Board Member, New England
Kim Beckett has spent the last 20 years dedicated to volunteerism, primarily in the areas of special education advocacy, Special Olympics Unified Sports, Guilford DAY community coalition, as well as her church and her son’s high school.
When Kim’s husband, Tom, became Yale University’s Director of Athletics in 1994, the family moved from Stanford University, settling in Guilford, CT. Soon after the relocation, it was discovered that their only child had an intellectual disability and autism. This challenge allowed her to forge relationships with teachers, school administrators, members of the board of education and parents of children with special needs. She co-founded Guilford’s special education parent advocacy group, hosting workshops to help families find their voice on behalf of children with disabilities. Kim also worked with her local politicians on an anti-bullying campaign that helped to strengthen the laws in the state of Connecticut.
She serves on the executive committee of Guilford DAY (Developmental Assets for Youth), which is dedicated to providing a healthier environment to Guilford’s youth. Through DAY she coordinates PCA’s partnership with the Town of Guilford, and in just two years approximately 200 coaches and 75 high school captains have been PCA trained. She has been instrumental in advocating on behalf of PCA with other school districts and within the state of Connecticut. The Pensacola native has recently joined the PCA New England board, and her husband is a member of PCA’s National Advisory Board.
Kim also co-founded Guilford High School’s Unified Sports Booster Club, which enriches the lives of students through their involvement with Special Olympics Unified Sports and the annual End the R Word Campaign. The “Spread the Word to End the Word” movement is a national program that brings awareness to the hurtful effects of the word retard(ed).
In 2008 Kim was selected to become the first female Chair of Church Council at First Congregational Church, Guilford, which was established in the year 1639. During this three-year term, she navigated all church business, including funding responsibilities and staffing and human resource issues. A major accomplishment during her tenure was attaining a grant from the Connecticut State Historic Preservation Commission to restore the portico of the church, which sits at the top of the town green. Volunteering with the Junior League of Greater New Haven, Kim chaired several fundraisers and secured corporate sponsorships with the New Haven banking industry, local business and Yale University.
Last year Kim and Tom’s son, Alex, made history as the first student with an intellectual disability to play and score in a sanctioned high school basketball game in the state of Connecticut. Alex plays multiple sports for his school-based Special Olympics Unified Sports team, and Kim volunteers as an assistant coach.