by JENNIFER FRAKES | photos by Alex Williams Photography

Rising to the Challenge

family_kennedy6Wilson Kennedy and his daughter, Zaria, are keeping life interesting in 4S Ranch. The family moved to the community in 2013 so that Zaria could attend schools in the Poway Unified School District and Wilson could drastically reduce his commute to the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department. “We love living here because of the centralized location to beaches, shopping, and outdoor activities,” related Wilson. He is a certified fraud examiner and has worked for the city of San Diego for 21 years. Zaria attended Oak Valley Middle School and graduated in June from Del Norte High School.

In addition to being the first city employee to earn an anti-fraud credential, Wilson was also a contestant on American Ninja Warrior. “Competing on ANW was literally a dream come true. After training for more than three years, overcoming major injuries (a shattered leg and torn Achilles tendon) and trying out for the show twice, I was selected for season 10 out of 100,000 applicants,” revealed Wilson. He ran the Los Angeles course at Universal Studios in March of 2018. He is proud that he made it to the spinning bridge before his rookie season ended. American Ninja Warrior was not Wilson’s first foray into the sporting world – he played football in college at the University of South Carolina and the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.


Parent: Wilson Kennedy, CFE, MBA
Child: Zaria Kennedy
Community: 4S Ranch since 2013
Parent’s Hometown: Santa Ana
Parent’s Occupation: Management Analyst, City of San Diego Public Utilities Department
Favorite Places to Visit in 92127: Wilson – Miguel’s Cocina; Zaria – I don’t really have favorite places. It’s not the places that are special to me, but rather the people whom I make memories with at those places. Those people would have to be my boyfriend (Derrian) and my best friend (Lexi).

family_kennedy2At Del Norte High School, Zaria was also involved in the sport of football. She was the athletic training student assistant for both the varsity and junior varsity teams. While she enjoyed her time at Del Norte, Zaria is ready for the next adventure. “92127 taught me a lot, but I am ready to move on to the new things life holds. I plan to get my associate’s degree from Palomar College, transfer to the University of Hawaii and pursue my goal of becoming a special agent with the FBI,” stated Zaria.

In their spare time, Wilson and Zaria enjoy going to the beach, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. They are also committed to giving back to the community. “I led the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department’s efforts to establish a water utility assistance program for the community. I was the first one to make a donation to the program, and Zaria was the first one to donate online using the money she earned for getting good grades,” said Wilson proudly.