In early March, I had the honor of flying to Phoenix, Arizona, to support young leaders with disabilities as they were honored by Rep. Jennifer Longdon of the Arizona House of Representatives.
I am the executive director of Disability EmpowHer Network, a national nonprofit that connects, motivates, and guides disabled girls and women to grow, learn, and develop to their highest potential and have the confidence to lead. While we work to help all women and girls with disabilities, we emphasize our programs that help young disabled women. Two of the girls in our programs, Maddie and Kailani, are both from Phoenix, Arizona. You may recognize Maddie because she is also a Q Roll Model and she has blogged about her experience in our programs!
A Day at the Arizona House of Representatives
Thanks to a board member, Disability EmpowHer Network coordinated with Rep. Longdon, who is also a proud disabled woman. Maddie and Kailani joined her on the floor of the House of Representatives to say the Pledge of Allegiance in English and ASL before Rep. Longdon made a proclamation about women with disabilities. Afterwards, Rep. Longdon presented Maddie and Kailani with a copy of the proclamation, along with the flags that were flown over the Arizona Capitol yesterday and member pins!
Support from EmpowHER Camp Mentors
I wasn’t the only person who traveled to Phoenix to support these young leaders though! Kelly Timmons from our partner organization, Kelly’s Kitchen, is Maddie’s mentor from EmpowHer Camp for the year. So, of course Kelly was there! On top of that, two more EmpowHer Camp mentors, Alexis Treichel and Jenny Border, came out to show their love and support!
After giving Rep. Longdon a big Disability EmpowHer Network hug goodbye, we headed over to see our friends at Ability360 where we got a grand tour! It was a fun and busy day for all of us and we’re so proud of our young leaders! At Disability EmpowHer Network, we know that when disabled girls lead, we all succeed. Maddie and Kailani are shining examples!
About Stephanie Woodward: Stephanie is a brand ambassador advisor for Quantum Rehab® and works as a disability rights activist. She has received many awards for helping communities become more accessible, as well as for her actions in fighting for the rights of disabled individuals as it relates to Medicaid and other support services. Click here to learn more about Stephanie.