MSD Graduate Shines: Emceeing FAU’s Inclusive Program End-of-Year Celebration

Holden Kasky, a Parkland resident and Marjory Stoneman Douglas graduate, alongside his dad, took on the role of emceeing an end-of-year celebration for the FAU Academy for Community Inclusion (ACI). This academy is tailored for high school graduates diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities like Down syndrome and autism.

Kelly Kearney, EdD, BCBA-D, Associate Director of FAU’s Academy for Community Inclusion, expressed the day’s significance, highlighting how the program has been instrumental in providing academic and workforce support to its students.

The celebration brought together students, recent graduates, alumni, parents, instructors, program coordinators, and community partners to commemorate the achievements of the program and its 50th and 51st graduates. Even FAU’s mascot, Owlsley, made an appearance for photos.

Jeff Kasky, expressing gratitude as a parent, recognized the program’s role in nurturing students like his son Holden, emphasizing the importance of self-pride in their accomplishments.

The event underscored the transformative impact of the program, focusing not just on education but also on empowering students and their growth, celebrating their achievements and the positive influence they have on society.

Principal Investigator for ACI, Dr. Rangasamy Ramasamy, acknowledged the pivotal role of the Taft Foundation, emphasizing their support in making the program a reality. The partnership was a tribute to the vision of Dr. Mike Brady, the founding ACI Principal Investigator, whose dedication to supporting those with disabilities led to the program’s establishment.

Holden concluded the celebration with a heartfelt toast, expressing gratitude to the community, families, faculty, staff, and partners for their unwavering support and for paving the way for the graduates’ success.

The FAU Academy for Community Inclusion offers certificates in supported employment, supported community access, and supported community living, fostering independence and enriching experiences for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities across FAU’s Boca Raton and Jupiter campuses. The program aims to enhance employment prospects, self-determination, and community integration through inclusive participation in college activities, clubs, and events.

To learn more about the FAU Academy for Community Inclusion and to donate, visit