It’s been three years since Fly Texas rider Nia Kelley became our first Hall of Change inductee. Since we’re just weeks away from announcing our newest winner, we sat down with Nia to see what she’s been up to—no surprise, she’s STILL crushing it inside the studio and out!
In Nia’s own words:
I am so honored and appreciative for being recognized as the first inductee into the Flywheel Hall of Change in 2015! Since my induction, I am proud to say that I am still a loyal member of the FlyFam, taking classes 2-3 times per week. I even got engaged at Flywheel Plano on July 4, 2016! On October 21, 2017, a number of my FlyFriends attend our wedding. Suffice it to say that Flywheel remains a staple in my life, and I am forever grateful for the lifelong bonds that have been formed!
In August 2017, I formed Sew Happy Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that uses sewing and other crafts to encourage creativity and provide functional therapy for adults with acute brain injuries. Our mission is to prove to that you can lead a “sew happy” life, even after a stroke or other brain injury. Our intent is to produce garments, mobility aids, and accessories that will be donated to the local community. Our five-year plan includes securing office space in north Dallas, TX and launching technology education programs for survivors who want to return to gainful employment after their injuries. Sew Happy Foundation(c (3) relies on other stroke survivors and volunteers to sustain the organization. Our website is launching in September 2018.
I personally suffered from a stroke in July 2014, and I learned how to sew as I healed. I discovered that sewing improved my motor & problem-solving skills, hand dexterity, critical thinking and mathematical capabilities. I designed and developed a sewing program, which I implemented at Pate Rehabilitation in Dallas, TX (see attached pictures). This program is the cornerstone of Sew Happy Foundation(c)(3). I have lectured about my experiences to various groups, including undergraduate students at University of Texas at Dallas and graduate students at the Callier Center for Communication Disorders.
Currently, I am enrolled in El Centro College in Dallas, TX where I am studying fashion design. I am double majoring in pattern making and apparel design. My ultimate objective is to create, design, and produce sewing patterns for Sew Happy Foundation(c)(3).
Sew Happy Foundation Board of Directors:
• President – Nia Kelley, Founder & Executive Director
• Secretary – Felicity Sale
• Treasurer – Jasen Jester