Even though Wes McNutt has Type 1 Diabetes, the 15-year-old Bainbridge High School student has not let that deter him from being a leader.
As a result, he was recently honored by the state Senate for his accomplishments through the Boundless Washington program.
Wes plays football and basketball and his favorite classes are P.E. and geometry. He said his participation and leadership in athletics led to him receiving the honor. “I think the fact that I was so active and motivated in sports even though I have this disease showed a lot about me when considering candidates,” he said.
Wes said it was surreal being recognized at the scale of that magnitude. “I can tell you that it was pretty awesome seeing the video of it though,” he said.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the ceremony took place remotely rather than in person.
Wes said even though his actions led to the award, he owes it to his parents. “My parents definitely are the ones who showed me how to be a leader, through their own actions,” he said. “Neither one of them has been afraid to speak their mind and take action when needed.”
He said they had a big impact on him. “What they taught me as a young kid influences my everyday life,” he added.
Wes said he would like to be a role model to those around him, especially younger people. “I would like to push myself as far as I can academically and athletically, to truly be the best me that I can be on every level, and prove to myself that my disease cannot inhibit me,” he said.
Boundless Washington is a two-year outdoor leadership program for young people with disabilities. Each Boundless Washington fellow is chosen based on their sense of service, care for their community, and leadership potential. The program has two parts: Outdoor excursions like camping, skiing, kayaking, etc.; and Leadership training like goal-setting, team-building, and advocacy training.
For more information, visit www.BoundlessWA.org.