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SEASPAR Spotlight: May 2022


Meet Ryan Burke, a SEASPAR participant from Western Springs. Ryan is a participant who knows no boundaries. His perseverance and ability to achieve goals is why we’ve selected him to be the focus of May’s SEASPAR Spotlight.

The first thing you’ll learn about Ryan is that he doesn’t recognize limitations. His nonchalant attitude breeds little discouragement, making anything Ryan sets out to do possible.

Recently, Ryan earned passage to the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games by means of hard work and training. In order to compete in Summer Games, one must first earn a gold medal at a regional competition – Ryan earned two. His medals were earned in Powerlifting, a sport that Ryan has been mastering for some time now. As these types of stories go, Ryan’s training most certainly earned him passage, but we have to believe his attitude also played a part.

Ryan is a glutton for fitness and sports. He participates in almost all fitness programs SEASPAR offers, but this jock also knows how to rock. Ryan loves musicals. From Grease to Hamilton, Ryan’s passion for song and dance can be seen and heard. If there is a musical in the room, Ryan is most certainly in the midst.

Ryan’s attitude also contributes to his breaking of barriers. Ryan is a special part of the Notre Dame experience. As a Notre Dame alum, Ryan pioneered the Burke Scholarship program, and in turn has made Notre Dame a stronger school by promoting diversity and inclusion. Ryan is now employed at the school and has many responsibilities at which he excels.

We’re happy to have Ryan as a part of the SEASPAR family. By breaking physical, mental, and personal barriers, Ryan has shown us all that expectations are but limitations we set for ourselves. We thank him for living life without expectation, which in turn has opened doors for people to come.