"From a New Perspective"
Inspiring Autism Acceptance
Autism is a disorder that can impair a person’s development and/or ability to communicate with others. It cannot be defined as a single condition because it affects each individual differently and to varying degrees on a spectrum, which makes the disorder extremely difficult to understand. 1 in 59 children are diagnosed and more than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder today. Although many people know that autism exists, they sometimes fail to understand what the diagnosis truly means, or how they can help accommodate for those who experience it. As an advocate, I dedicate my time to speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves, and I inspire others to look at autism #FromANewPerspective.
As Miss Laurelwood 2019, I have a unique opportunity to promote my platform across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. My goals are to encourage others to respect and value each other's diversity, to diminish stereotypes and negative attitudes people still hold towards autism, and to, slowly but surely, move our communities to places of inclusion. I proudly consider myself and Autism Ally and use my crown as a microphone to inspire Autism Acceptance. I'm humbled to be partnered with and involved in organizations passionate about empowering individuals with disabilities, such as the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and the Central Pennsylvania Autism Society, and I look forward to expanding these partnerships throughout my year of service.
In February of 2018, I launched my "Autism Acceptance Tour Across Pennsylvania". This is a program for "From a New Perspective" where I visit schools and speak to students about the importance of practicing inclusion, acceptance, and compassion toward our peers with autism. To learn more about this initiative, please visit the "ACCEPTANCE TOUR" tab by clicking the button below.
In May of 2017, I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Syracuse University. I aspire to obtain my Master's degree in Speech Pathology in order to work hands on with children to improve their social, communication and language skills and further my advocacy as a Speech-Language Pathologist.
The exposure I have gained through my education and experiences has motivated me to challenge mainstream ideas about disabilities on the local, state and national level. My ultimate dream is to be chosen to serve as Miss Pennsylvania and move on to compete for the title of Miss America, so that my message can reach as far as possible. I am incredibly honored to be involved in an organization that allows me to chase this dream and I thank every person who has been involved in making my dream a reality.
It is a blessing to impact my community as a Miss America local titleholder, and I am thrilled to represent this platform while serving as your