From the Local Mall to NYFW
One day when I was around 9 years old I was sitting in the car with my mom and dad on my way to school and I found an advertisement about a modeling agency that had a casting for a kid's beauty pageant. I jumped in excitement and begged my mom to take me to which she agreed. Keep in mind I knew nothing about the realities of modeling. From there, my love for modeling started. I was selected for the casting and had many fun opportunities after that. Some of my best childhood memories are from walking the runway at the local mall, doing plenty of photoshoots, and even appearing on tv. If you would have asked me at 9 years old what I was going to do when I grew up, my answer would've been modeling or something within the entertainment industry. After modeling, I discovered ballet- from there I was set on my career choices. My mentality changed a few years after I was diagnosed with cancer and had to spend all of my energy recovering and healing from osteosarcoma. At age 15 I developed a physical disability from a spinal cord injury I had after receiving radiation therapy. It was hard to recognize myself and my body. I had new scars, I had inevitably gained weight after steroid treatment and, consequently, I was dealing with severe acne. It took me a couple of months to accept my new reality and start moving forward. Everything was fairly new to me, the future I one day contemplated didn't look so achievable anymore. I had no idea of how to proceed. I didn't see any representation of disability anywhere, let alone in the entertainment industry. Day-to-day activities like driving, going to school, and dating seemed so far away because I didn't see anyone with a disability doing them. Due to unseeable circumstances, at age 18 I had to move from Venezuela to the United States after a few years of hustling and working hard as an immigrant. I had the time to think and reflect on my childhood dreams. I wanted to evaluate if there was a chance of having any limited beliefs that were preventing me from following my dreams. I realized that my career choice was going in the direction of what society would expect of me and not on what really moved me. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I had one of the biggest realizations in my life, and the universe unexpectedly brought modeling along with the idea of a career in entertainment back into my life. I quickly felt comfortable in front of the camera and started advocating and sharing more of my story on social media. From there I've been lucky to keep achieving my dreams. Recently I had the opportunity to model the JC Penny Adaptive line at a show in NYFW. This past year I also traveled to New York twice to shoot for two Tommy Hilfigher adaptive campaigns. I was selected to join a Sports Illustrated Virtual casting. I had the opportunity to share my story on national TV, and now have the opportunity to share my message with over 100,000 across my social channels. Almost 10 years later, I can't believe this is my life. 10 years in which I learned to fall in love with myself and my body, I learned to speak up and stand up for what I believe in. And more importantly, I learned there is no such thing as an impossible dream.