Kris was born to inspire. His journey began when he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy – a condition that brings many unique challenges to the people it touches. Although this disease brings many challenges, Kris refuses to let it stand in his way of making an impact on those around him.  

Kris Bartz, a positive, and determined young man, was one of four recipients of the 2015 Inspiration Awards given out by the Disability Awareness Task Force. Nominees are not given this award because they have a disability but because they inspire and give back to the community.

He attended the Occupational Skills program at Brainerd Central Lakes proving that hard work and dedication brings success. During his experience at OSP, Kris discovered his passion of working in a nursing home setting. His sense of humor and loving heart has a positive impact on the elderly.

Kris diligently worked through his CNA training program to help make his dreams become a reality. Although he faced many obstacles along the way, he surpassed some negative beliefs of his capability by receiving his CNA certification. Kris has time and time again proved his drive and passion in caring for others.

Kris was a referral to WACOSA from vocational rehab and we helped him use his many talents to find a job at Sterling Park. He works as a full-time 2nd shift CNA assisting residents with activities, meal times, and getting residents ready for bed.

Kris opens up his heart to whomever he meets. He has a contagious smile that never fails to brighten his patients day. He strives to let people know that they matter, that their lives are important, that he always has time to help and visit with them. He wants to make an impact on those around him, and he does!

But Kris doesn’t stop here – he is involved with Special Olympics competing in bowling and track. He also dedicates his time as a global messenger, speaking out on behalf of those with disabilities.

His generous heart is inspiring to us all. It takes a kind and loving person to receive such a fitting award – Kris is a man we should all look up to!