What I’m Meant to Do
Katy Ann Killingsworth
Sharpsburg, Georgia (Senate District 28)
Katy Ann Killingsworth is just about to finish her shift at the Line Creek Chick-fil-A. Having worked there for nine months, this job is the first one she ever wanted to have. Years ago, when Katy Ann was still a small child, she and her mom would frequently stop in at the drive-thru for breakfast on their way to speech therapy. Katy Ann became a star amongst the staff; they looked forward to her visits and always asked how she was doing. One day, Katy Ann declared, “I want to work here someday.” At the time, mom, Juanita, wasn’t sure how viable that dream was, but her daughter kept insisting that’s what she wanted to do. Now that it’s a reality, it makes total sense.
Katy Ann is a 19-year-old woman with Down syndrome who lives in Sharpsburg, GA. Even though she’s been eligible for a year, she does not have a Medicaid waiver and has been on the waiting list since 2009. She received the Katie Beckett waiver until March 2018 when she turned 18, but now she only receives social security income. (Story continues below after slideshow.)
Matt Brass, Katy Ann’s state senator sits down to talk with Juanita while Katy Ann finishes cleaning the restaurant’s windows. He’s just concluding his first term, which began in 2017. Admitting that he didn’t have disability issues on his radar coming into office, Senator Brass talks about how he was most passionate about helping to get kids out of the foster care system.
Juanita takes advantage of the opportunity to talk directly to Senator Brass. She talks about the things that a Medicaid waiver, specifically the NOW waiver, would do for Katy Ann. Having finally clocked out, Katy Ann comes over to join the conversation. She also wants to take advantage of her opportunity to speak to her legislator. She’d like to live on her own, perhaps with a roommate that she likes. She wants to have her own life. Juanita says, “It’s hard to look ahead. There are challenges that most people don’t even think about.”
What does Katy Ann want for her life? “I want my own house. I want to be a writer/dancer. I want a roommate. I want books and a TV in my bedroom. I love working and working out. But I really only want to work about two-three days. That would leave time to have time to be creative and do other things. That’s what I’m meant to do.”
Writer: Shannon Turner, Photographer: Haylee Fucini-Lenkey