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Malachi was an orphan in Ethiopia for the first three years of his life living with spina bifida, a birth defect that causes weakness and limits mobility. The orphanage did the best they could to help Malachi with the limited resources they had, but he struggled to stand and had very little chance of being able to walk.


His life changed when he was adopted by the Kuhns, a Florida family that traveled to Ethiopia to adopt a child. The Kuhns knew their first priority was addressing Malachi’s special needs, particularly his health and education. They applied for Florida’s special needs education savings account program, the Gardiner Scholarship Program, which gives parents the opportunity to customize an education to meet their child’s needs. The family used the funds for Malachi to pay for tuition at a private school and pay for after school therapies tailored to his needs.

He now is a 1st grader at Holy Trinity Lutheran. Malachi has realized that anything is possible. When asked about his future career goals, he said: “I want to drive an airplane!”

Denise Lasher
Government Affairs Advisor