Last week Jamie Kendall died; she was a longtime friend of IEL. Most recently, Kendall was acting director of the Independent Living Administration at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to that, she worked for the Social Security Administration.
“She was a beacon of inspiration to the many people—across all boundaries—who knew her,” said IEL president Martin J. Blank. “The Institute for Educational Leadership was lucky to have Jamie as part of our lives and our work for nearly 20 years.”
Kendall came to IEL as an intern during graduate school. She quickly demonstrated her hard-working, can-do attitude, even standing on her wheelchair when something needed to be copied.
“When asked about joining us on a visit to Harrisburg, Jamie immediately volunteered,” recalled Blank. “She said, ‘I’ll drive!’ And off we went in her specially equipped van. Jamie always stayed in touch, driving over for dinner in my home with her husband Tim.”
As time went by, Kendall became more closely connected to IEL’s work as the Institute deepened its efforts to help all young people—particularly those with disabilities—transition to careers and independent life in the community.
“Jamie understood the multiple systems that touch young people’s lives and was constantly pushing from the inside to strengthen partnerships across programs,” said Curtis Richards, director of IEL’s Center for Workforce Development. “Jamie was not just a strong advocate but a compassionate mentor and extraordinary role model.”
Note: In lieu of flowers, the family asks that gifts be sent to the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation or Alexandria Animal Rescue. Cards or other warm wishes may be sent to Tim Domdro and Family, care of ACL, 330 C Street SW, Washington, DC, 20201.