I am 12 years old, and I am a special needs child. I was first diagnosed at age 3 with autism and adhd, and from there things progressed. I eventually had my diagnosis list grow and added on some health issues that are on-going. A lot of my issues stand out at times based on my comfort levels and who’s around me. This has been a burden in some ways such as with school in the past. I was bullied for 2-3 years due to many of my issues.
My mom did all she could to try and get the school on board, and she even reached out to some ladies she networks with. She’s part of a group called Fierce Forward, and it’s a group of ladies who support and motivate one another. They took me in under their wing once they heard the upsetting news they included me in some of their projects to help me refind myself. Then I realized that it doesn’t matter what others think…it only matters what I think.
They took me in under their wing once they heard the upsetting news they included me in some of their projects to help me refind myself. Then I realized that it doesn’t matter what others think…it only matters what I think.
I’ve been doing pageants for almost 5 years now, but it wasn’t until August 2017 that I found my home. A local girl referred me to them, and this new pageant family is so supportive, motivating, and very involved. Since joining this system I not only have a platform I can stand behind as our platform is the Crown C.A.R.E.S which is an anti-bullying platform so it’s perfect for me and I can relate to it; But I also have my own personal platform “in a world where you can be anything…be yourself.” My mom and I came up with this because 1) it was a sign that was mailed to me by the Fierce Forward group to help remind me that I am awesome, and 2) because I now know that while I can be anything I want to be…I should always stay true to who I am and be the best me possible because I am the only me there is and no one else can ever be me!
The other amazing thing about where I am now from where I was is that I know no matter what others think of me, I have the best support group ever and that’s my mom and her friends! These recent changes with pageants and all have also opened so many doors up to me. I started volunteering at an animal rescue, am on board with an animal sanctuary, have made some appearances including talking to a Girl Scout troop, and I’ve done so many projects such as collecting toys for Toys For Tots, doing a food drive, an animal fundraiser, collecting cards for the elderly, and so much more! Plus, 2018 is already filling up in so many ways.
I may not have known it at the time, but in some ways I see my being bullied as a blessing because now I have a story to share and can relate to others in similar situations. Also, it’s opened so many doors for me. While I walked away from Girl Scouts and cheerleading, I started doing pageants which lead to so much more. I even left my school and became a virtual school student, which also gives me the flexibility to do my volunteering and projects with ease as I don’t have to worry about a school schedule in a sense. And now today, I can say I am part of CHEERFIT too which is amazing! I can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store for all of us, and remember that while there will be bad days (whether it’s just a bad hair day or being bullied) there is always something good that happens that day too. Plus, the bad is helping you to learn and grow, and it’s also making you stronger. I will never be “normal” as they say, but who cares. This life I was given was given to me for a reason, and I’m gonna show them all that I am a special, awesome, amazing girl who can make a difference despite my disabilities and despite their negativity. I CAN do it!
– CHEERFIT Ambassador Britney Jeschonek