CONTACT INFORMATION AND SPEAKERS PROFILE
Jana Kaye Kuhnert
Inspirational Speaker, Teacher & Encourager
Director & Team Mom of NubAbility Athletics Foundation
Office: 221 E. Main Street; DuQuoin, IL 62832
Phone: On Request
Speaker’s Terms & Agreement: On Request
Jana Kaye (Holland) Kuhnert has a story. Her story is one of discovering purpose and of being satisfied with who she was created to be. It’s one of becoming aware, even in the darkest of times that life is not always about “you”. Jana considers herself a “mutt” of family and demographic environments, social circles, career choices and even the practice of her faith. She relates.
Her story is one of encouragement, self-acceptance and valuing relationships. Jana uses heartfelt personal experiences, wit and a passionate delivery to bring her audiences to see themselves as they were destined to be, persons of value. Jana’s experiences of her youth, as a wife, a high school teacher, an event planner, the Queen of the House of Testosterone (mother of three boys), sports mom, mother of a limb-different child, and business woman have given her a boat load of stories that motivate and inspire. Deeply rooted in her Christian faith, she adapts to both public and faith based audiences. She digs people.
Being a founder and the daily director of NubAbility Athletics Foundation that has led her to find her voice. NubAbility, a global nonprofit 501(c)(3) charity, serves kids who are congenital or traumatic amputees that desire to compete in mainstreamed sport. She compels all of her audiences, regardless of their purpose of assembly, to understand the power of relationships and mentoring and how they are key in making champions for life. Jana and her son Sam, were recently awarded the Citizen of the Year by their home town, DuQuoin, IL . They were chosen for their efforts with NubAbility and championing their region that hosts the organization’s largest event that brings over 150 families and 60 accomplished limb-different athletes as mentor/coaches, from across the globe to the Southern Illinois town every July. Hundreds of volunteers from the community roll up their shirt sleeves to pull off the life changing event with their team.
Keynote Topics & Audience:
Middle School/High School Girls Public Audience:
Hey Girl, Somebody Told Me… Dealing with the mean girls, frenemies and the girl in the mirror. Interactive assembly.
Jana uses hands on activities and creativity to illustrate to her audience the importance of speaking kindness.
Mixed Public Audience of All Ages: Joint presentations with Sam Kuhnert, Co-Founder of NubAbility Athletics Foundation and Jana’s second son.
Bully Proofing: Overcoming the crappy way mean kids or big people make you feel.
Know Your Role: How your place in organized sports has power to build champions or create losers. Awesome for teams, booster clubs, coaches, officials & parents.
Middle School/High School/College/Adult/Corporate/Organization Public Audience:
So, What’s NubAbility Anyway, and Why Should I care?…Informative talk on the history, growth, events, impact and future of NubAbility Athletics Foundation. A 501(c)(3) Nonprofit.
Middle School/High School/College Faith-based Audience:
You’re Royalty Baby…Learning your birthright by listening to what the King of Kings says about you and not others. See this blog post to catch a good glimpse of my teaching.
It’s not all about you, PROMISE…Fixing yourself by serving others. How God uses relationships to create His team of champions.
Adult Ladies Faith-based Audience:
So and So Begat So and So, So What?!…Discovering your birthright and why you “belong”. The sharing of Jana’s testimony.
Inconvenient Parenting. How to raise the little stinkers into nice big people, especially those fellas.
Jana Kaye Kuhnert was born, unplanned to teenage parents in the 1960’s. Her 17 year-old mother was on track to be a high school valedictorian. Her 19 year-old father played college football on a scholarship. Both had their plans diverted by becoming young parents. Her mom was forced to drop out of high school and get her G.E.D. Her father was forced to quit his passion of football and return home on weekends to earn a living. Her early years were positively influenced by the love and involvement of both her paternal and maternal grandparents. Moving three hours away from them when she was 4 made that daily interaction impossible.
Her young parents divorced when she was 6 years old and later remarried. She and her single mom lived in trailer courts and housing projects the first couple of years, where she swam in the ditches with her friends. Raised by her mom, step-father and a supportive, yet geographically distant dad, who also remarried, Jana grew up in two diverse socio-economic families.
Living in a dysfunctional household at times, as an only child for 13 years, Jana had a lot of babysitters and did a lot of babysitting. She was putting meals on the table while in the 4th grade as was required of her. She helped her career focused mother and step-father raise her younger brother. Her dad and step-mom also gave Jana two younger sisters. Jana as a teen was involved in several extra-curricular activities, sports and cheerleading. Academics were a priority, primarily because her mother was a career academic who became a college professor and assistant dean. Jana did well in school despite many courses required extra efforts. Attention and focus in the classroom and in life have always been a challenge for her.
Being from a broken home, and having both parents eventually establish families of their own, Jana felt like she never completely belonged anywhere. Middle school and early high school years were difficult for her, yet no one knew it. She dealt mostly silently with girls that taunted, made fun of and made life miserable for her many times.
Jana learned to take the bully target off her back. She controlled what she could about what she projected to others. She learned to walk away believing what people who she looked up to said about her…not the bullies. She found early on, to gain a good friend, you have to be one, and she made a few. Those friends made those years bearable and even enjoyable. She also emulated. She began as a young girl to draw strength and adopt attitudes from the older girls and women placed in her circle that she admired. As time went on, she had developed a healthy positive self-image. She began to discover that she “belonged” all along, just not in the traditional family sense of the word. She also found that years later, the voices of encouragement drowned out the voices of destruction. Destroyed them actually.
During her early adult years, Jana was still yearning to belong and become a part of something, completely. No-one had yet to make her feel “at home”. Even though she had a strong faith in God, and His plan for her, she always seemed to be seeking validation from others. Her saving grace? She never forgot what she was told by several strong women scattered in her sphere of influence over the years. She was told, time and time again, her kind heart, creative spirit and joyful nature combined with her passion destined her to become a woman of goodness and value. Because of their words, she grew to become confident and comfortable with her gifts. She is now a cheerleader to many. She is passionate about encouraging others as individuals, businesses, churches, groups and teams, to become difference makers through relationships in their circles as well.
Jana has stories of faith. Regarding her relationship with Jesus Christ, her Redeemer, She believes relationships with family, friends, acquaintances, work contacts, teammates, and others are to be cherished. Every relationship is an opportunity to be a vessel of goodness and healing. Jana is confident, as her stories illustrate, that God works in the mightiest of ways through relationships. It was through those works that Jana was shown who she really is, a child of God. A daughter of the King. An heir to the throne. Royalty baby! She found where she belonged. 100% all in. No halfsies!
Jana went on to graduate high school, began an early career as a licensed cosmetologist. That occupation satisfied the artist in her. However, she longed for more. She knew she had to teach. She graduated from Southern Illinois University with a degree in Social Studies Secondary Education. she taught high school for 10 years and loved it.
While still in college, she married Todd Kuhnert in her early 20’s. Feeling the pull to stay at home with her 3rd son and make life “slow down” for a year before he began kindergarten, Jana decided to take a leave of absence for a year from her high school teaching position. She immersed herself in all things family that year, including volunteering in her older son’s classrooms. She became very involved with local charities they were involved with and discovered a niche in planning events that do “good”. She decided she liked her life on the farm and in serving others through charity, being a team mom and encouraging people whenever she had the opportunity. She has never returned to the classroom.
She Co-chaired and Chaired the DuQuoin Youth Club Charity Ball for over a decade. She organized a Continuing Education conference on Concussion Management through SIU School of Medicine. She has planned and executed several other events. She has fed teams of smelly boys a hundred meals. She started a motivational jewelry design business that she has recently sold. She has also led and taught women’s Bible studies. She co-founded NubAbility Athletics Foundation with her 2nd son, Sam in 2011. She learned how to build a non-profit that serves thousands from the ground up. She remains the full time Volunteer Director of the globally recognized organization. She connects with children, their families and limb-different athletes across the world daily with her works. She has authored a Bully Proof Physical Education Program. Several of the accomplished limb-different athletes that serve as coaches for NubAbility Athletics carry it out in P.E. classes across the nation. She was recently recognized as the DuQuoin Illinois Citizen of the Year, along with her son Sam.
She and her husband Todd, have been married for 28 years. Together they have raised their three sons, 18 year-old Tucker, 23 year-old Samuel and 27 year-old Charlie to be diligent in work ethic, to be men of good morals and integrity, to serve others, but most of all to be kind. Jana and her family reside in the country, an area known as Paradise Prairie. Between the boys, the dogs, the mud and the muck, she adores and is grateful for her station in life. While she may hale from the “House of Testosterone”, she is passionate about passing on the encouragement and motivation she was privy to through the years to audiences of all walks, especially teenage girls and ladies of all ages.
Media Coverage to Date:
Guest of the Spiel TV Show on Fox 23 hosted by Angie Wyatt & Juli Ingram
Recent Speaking Gigs:
Oak Grove Baptist Church Mother’s Banquet. Pinckneyville, IL May 3, 2016: 75 attendance
Southern Illinois Women’s Conference Teen’s Conference; John A. Logan College; April 22, 2016: 300 attendance
DuQuoin, IL Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Banquet: 300 attendance
Benton High School, Benton, IL; Baseball Booster Banquet & Auction: 400 attendance NubAbility All Sport Summer Camps: 400 attendance
Ladies Brown Bag Lunch Bible Study Leader, DuQuoin, IL: Lioness Arising by Lisa Bevere 10 attendance. Several small group and organizational talks about NubAbility Athletics.
Link to Showcase Video: