It pays to be curious.
My name is Alex Schwartz, I'm 24 years old, and I was born in Saint Louis, MO with multiple rare birth defects affecting the bones in my legs. I had a double foot amputation, ironically, in order to walk. Growing up, I generally had low end hardware. At the time, I didn't know this. I finally took a big step and reached out to an amputee on YouTube who was so kind and showed me how to get running blades, that I had been wanting most of my life but was always told that they were only for Paralympians. She also told me things about Youtube and acting. This was the catalyst for many amazing things to come.
Taking a step towards standing out.
To keep it brief - after being denied by a foundation for running blades, I didn't give up. I had also driven across the country by myself to my first acting gig. A year or so later, someone had also reached out on Facebook to me to make a short 2min biographical video about me, which then ended up winning the #MyWinningMoment contest for prosthetic company össur... so we got to visit their HQ in Iceland and I was granted a pair of blades, while we were there, unexpectedly, and they were suited for the running I do. It was incredible. I also made a YouTube channel to give back, since the person from YouTube was the one who got me started in all of this, which only lead to more opportunities and amazing connections. Like being a photo double in a movie, bringing me to Atlanta Georgia for a month. Or visiting a 19-year-old amputee in Dallas, Texas who didn't even have his prosthetic leg yet. Or getting to participate in a scholarship for a certification at Massachusetts Institute of Technology among just 25~ another amazing stand out people. Or the many speaking engagements I've spoken at. Or creating a song complete with a music video to go viral on TikTok. It's been an incredible experience...
On and on.
As a kid, I would've never thought I'd be able to be this active, or that I would've done anything that I've done up until now, and I hope to be able to say the same thing in another ten years and keep the trajectory going of making a difference and breaking down barriers.