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Matthew Horn & Miss Topeka, Jennifer Salva
Matthew Horn & Miss Topeka, Jennifer Salva

Everyone can see that Senior University of Kansas journalism major Jennifer Salva is a real beauty on the outside; her loveliness is part of what helped her win the Miss Topeka/Miss Capital City 2014 scholarship pageant on November 9. However, it’s what’s on the inside that truly makes Jennifer shine, and her inner beauty came into full play on stage before the judges and audience that Saturday. Jennifer’s little sister, Erin, was born with developmental delays and deafness, and Jennifer has found herself in the position of advocating for acceptance of those who appear different ever since. One of her ways of “paying back” is through volunteering for the non-profit organization “Inclusion Connections”, based in Olathe, Kansas, which serves individuals with developmental disabilities. Its mission is to connect each of its members to their community through social activities, employment and independent living. “I needed an escort for the eveningwear portion of the pageant, and I decided to ask Olathe South Junior Matthew Horn, to escort me. I had met him through Inclusion Connections, knew he was outgoing and friendly, and thought he would love a moment to shine on stage – and did he ever!” said Jennifer. “When the pageant concluded, many people in the audience came up to Matthew and me, complimenting him on how handsome he looked. He was such a graceful gentleman and I am so honored he agreed to be my escort!” This is just one example of how Jennifer walks the walk of her “Meaningful Inclusion” platform. Another of her passions is volunteering at the Audio-Reader Network, a radio-reading service for the blind and visually impaired. Clearly Jennifer’s platform is more than just a chosen category but something she truly believes in and is committed to living out in her own life. As Jennifer competes for the crown of Miss Kansas, and hopefully vies for the Miss America crown, all the families and volunteers working with Inclusion Connections will be on the edge of their seats cheering loudly for their friend and advocate - none more than her favorite buddy-by-her-side, Matthew.

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Amy Cox, United States, KS
12/4/2013 1:08:22 PM
Thank you.

Sherry Vinson, United States, KY
12/2/2013 8:25:26 AM
Touching thankful for people like Jennifer...and what a handsome young man Matthew is....God Bless.

debby byrne, United States, KS
11/25/2013 9:40:10 AM
I have known Matthew and his family for a long time. He is fabulous and his family is very supportive. When I am with Matthew I don't see a disability I see Matthew. Matthew would make a great buddy for anyone especially a pageant queen. He brings meaning to the word life and what it is about!

Katherine Young, United States, KS
11/25/2013 9:36:46 AM
Good Job

Pamela, United States, KS
11/25/2013 8:29:01 AM
Wonderful story about 2 beautiful people

Kathy Preheim, United States, KS
11/25/2013 7:24:31 AM
Great story!

Doris Unruh, United States, KS
11/24/2013 8:29:04 PM
Awesome story.

Kathryn Winegar, United States, KS
11/24/2013 7:40:03 PM

Erin Wimpey, United States, KS
11/24/2013 2:20:41 PM
Matthew is one of the sweetest guys we know. We are all blessed to know him. The Wimpeys

John Walton, United States, KS
11/24/2013 11:16:28 AM
I'm so proud of my little brother, Matthew! You are such an inspiration to myself and others and I just know that you're going to go on to do bigger and better things! Love you, man :)

Annette Weems, United States, KS
11/24/2013 6:14:20 AM
Beautiful story about two beautiful people!

Paula Harris, United States, KS
11/23/2013 10:30:29 PM
Awesome story. She certainly chose a handsome escort. Good luck Jennifer as you compete in Miss Kansas.

Jennifer Young , United States, KS
11/23/2013 9:49:14 PM
Congratulations Matt and Jennifer! Good luck in your next contests and adventures. We're so proud of our handsome cousin, Matt. See you soon. Love from your Peabody family.

Jonathan Stahl, United States, KS
11/23/2013 12:39:21 PM
Love it! Awesome story! :)

Janie Samuels, United States, MN
11/22/2013 8:44:44 PM
What a wonderful story.

Laura Ehrlich, United States, KS
11/22/2013 8:15:02 PM
I am in awe of those involved with Inclusion Connection and their dedication to make a positive impact. Bless you all!

Darren Strickler, United States, KS
11/22/2013 7:25:42 PM
Your commitment to serving individuals with many different abilities is a reflection of your soul. God Bless you and Good Luck!

Michael Horn, United States, KS
11/22/2013 4:48:41 PM
How great it was to be able to experience the mix between Jennifer's heart and Matthew's personality. We are so blessed by inclusion.

Jana, United States, MO
11/22/2013 4:15:11 PM
What a great story.

Regina wittman, United States, KS
11/22/2013 3:37:27 PM
Matthew and Jennifer are two great young people making a difference in the community they live in. Good luck to Jennifer.

Kellie, United States, KS
11/22/2013 2:39:30 PM
AWESOME story!

Josie Strickler, United States, KS
11/22/2013 2:21:39 PM
Congratulations to Jennifer! We are so proud of her and so very thankful for her heart. She is a true advocate that cares about giving individuals with disabilities such as Down syndrome new opportunities to show their abilities. As parents of a daughter with Down syndrome, we enjoy seeing Matthew's smile in such a proud moment. It brings much hope for our daughter's future. Matthew is an inspiration.

Lynne Plummer, United States, KS
11/22/2013 2:19:45 PM
What a wonderful way to showcase that we are more alike than different and to share the joy in the journey. Thank you Jennifer for the beauty in your heart.

Kathy Bachner, United States, KS
11/22/2013 2:08:19 PM
Awesome story! So proud of both of them!

Judy Banister, United States, KS
11/22/2013 1:44:57 PM
What an honor for Jennifer and Inclusion Connections.

Debbie Horn, United States, KS
11/22/2013 1:43:44 PM
This was such a fantastic opportunity for Matthew! We have been so blessed by Jennifer Salva and her heart for individuals with disabilities.

Bill Uzzell, United States, MO
11/22/2013 1:41:31 PM
God luck Debbie. Nice story.

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