An AthLeaders Journey: Legacy's Kennedy Dolmage Realizes Her Passion to Make a Difference
Like many younger sisters, Kennedy served as her older sister's pepper partner, so it didn't take long for volleyball to become her passion.
"My volleyball journey started when I was eight, my older sister started playing for our grade school team and needed someone to pepper with. She taught me how to play and I loved it so much I tried out at Legacy the following season."
The Oakland University commit recalls the day she committed to play Division I collegiate volleyball. After attending camp at Oakland year after year, the school became a place where she felt at home.
"I am so very excited, these coaches have known me since the beginning and the program has become a family to me."
Family has helped shape the person Kennedy is today. In the top tier of her class, the 2020 Ultra Ankle JVA AthLeader is driven to not only excel in school, but to make an impact on the lives of others.
"I admire my mother because of her selflessness in raising a family. I admire my grandmother for her unconditional love and support for everyone she comes into contact with. I admire my sister for pushing though all the obstacles that have been put in her way and overcoming them. She has shown me what hard work is and how to achieve anything you want to."
Kennedy's family set up a nonprofit organization called Project 33 that delivers unused hotel toiletries to homeless shelters around the Detroit area. She realized that hotels often throw away unused toiletries and replace them with new ones for each guest, and saw this as an opportunity to make a difference.
At Legacy, she practices twice a week for two hours, once in Novi which is about an hour away from her home, and once in Sterling Heights which is a half hour drive.
"We have pickup bins at our two Legacy locations where people bring their unused hotel shampoo, conditioner and soap. Every week when I’m at practice I bring home the basket and we sort them and then put them into ziplock bags with a shampoo, conditioner, and soap. At the end of the season we deliver them to homeless shelters around the area. The last two years we delivered well over 400 bags."
Kennedy's teammates and club coaches at Legacy Volleyball Club have brought out the best in her and pushed her to do her best.
"I’ve been playing with mostly the same group of girls throughout my club career and it has been so much fun! I can’t wait to spend my last season with some of the people who have been there since the start! Trainer Eric has helped me become the player I am today."
Serving others is another passion of Kennedy's. A week-long mission trip to the Dominican Republic showed her how much we have and take for granted here in the U.S., but also how happy people can be with nothing but God’s love. During that week Kennedy played sports with young children, built part of a baseball field and served meals at a local church throughout the week.
"Some days we went into poverty-stricken neighborhoods to play with the children and other days we went to a nearby construction sight to build a baseball field for them. When the bus would pull up to the neighborhoods all the kids would run out of their houses and chase the bus. When we got off the bus the kids would jump into our arms and not let go for hours."
"The most beautiful thing was the communities they have where they all protect each other and respect each other."
Volleyball has been a platform for Kennedy to grow as a leader on the court and off. Her 4.143 GPA is something she has worked hard for as she strives to excel in her studies and lead off the court.
"I’ve been captain of my high school varsity volleyball team for the past 4 years. It’s really helped me grow as a leader giving advice, standing up for the team t has helped me grow as a person learning how to play with different types of people and do my best to put my best foot forward."
Like many teenager, Kennedy's favorite thing to do in her free time is hangout with her friends, workout together, try new restaurants together and just hang and be best friends with each other.
"In 5-10 years I would like to be graduated from college either working for an organization or starting my own business about something I’m passionate about that can touch people’s lives."
Kennedy is in her senior year of high school, and headed to Oakland University next fall. We can't wait to see the impact Kennedy will make as she follow's her passion to help others.
Legacy Volleyball Club is a member of the Junior Volleyball Association, is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the junior volleyball experience for players, coaches, clubs and fans.