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Community Voices
Community Voices
Community Voices

Believe in Yourself #BeUnstoppable

<p>Believe in Yourself <a class="tm-topic-link ugc-topic" title="BeUnstoppable" href="/topic/beunstoppable/" data-id="5b23ce5300553f33fe98b9b5" data-name="BeUnstoppable" aria-label="hashtag BeUnstoppable">#BeUnstoppable</a></p>
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Community Voices

Day 3!

Day number 3 of trying to look after myself. I woke up with mixed emotions not sure how today will pan out .... will remain positive though .... off to play tennis before work ......keep moving forward. #Depression #Tryingtochange #BeUnstoppable

Community Voices

You are beautiful!

Remember you are who you are now because of who you were before. Your scars make you who you are and that is a beautiful person with unique qualities. You have a compassionate heart, and this in part has been shaped by the things you have gone through, maybe still go through today. Your day may be rough, your path may be unclear, but you are you and there is no-one like you. You matter. You make a difference in this world just by being here. Thank you for that. Thank you for being you. #Selfacceptance #Selfcare #Selfblame #Selfharm #MentalHealth #Shame #BeUnstoppable #YouAreBeautiful

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Miss Unstoppable Pageant Empowers Girls with Disabilities

On April 2, 2016, I coordinated the Arc of Sedgwick County’s third annual Miss Unstoppable Pageant in Wichita, Kansas. After many years of volunteering with the Arc, I heard that the pageant’s founder was leaving, and knew it was a program I could not let disappear. The pageant is for girls with developmental disabilities ages 5 and up who want to show the world what makes them unstoppable. Each girl competes in interview, runway, talent, and evening gown to earn the title of Miss Unstoppable. Five girls were crowned in their age division, and one girl was crowned overall Miss Unstoppable. It’s not all about the crown, however. In preparation for the pageant, the girls attended a fall and spring workshop where they learned interview skills, an opening number dance routine, and most importantly, how to advocate for themselves. Each girl was given a tiara worksheet at fall workshop in which they wrote what makes them unstoppable. From there, they learned that their disability does not define them, because they are unstoppable. Miss Unstoppable 2016 contestants The former Miss Unstoppable 2015, Erica, spoke to the girls about what her year as Miss Unstoppable was like and why she believes all of her friends with disabilities are unstoppable as well. Erica served as a representative of those with disabilities and was even part of the #BeUnstoppable Campaign with her personal message: “No need to call me autistic, I prefer queen.” Throughout the year the girls continued training and learning to truly appreciate everything they can do, instead of focusing on their challenges. All of the preparation led up to pageant day, where each girl received a state finalist award along with many other awards. The new Miss Unstoppable, Rebecca, was crowned Saturday afternoon. It was only fitting that she was crowned on April 2, Autism Awareness Day. Rebecca blew the crowd away with her talent as she performed a beautiful folk song on the violin with the piano accompaniment of her mother. Her smile and charm throughout the competition gave her the overall high score, and the audience roared when her name was called. When doing a quick interview after the pageant, she looked at the camera and said “I am not defined by my disability, I am unstoppable!” The impact this pageant has on our contestants is astounding. I could tell many stories about what these girls have learned and experienced, but I will simply share one moment that truly sticks out from this year. During one of our contestant’s private interviews, I stepped in the room and told her she had 30 seconds to tell the judges any last thing she wanted them to know. Afterward, I heard her say to them, “If I am crowned Miss Unstoppable, I will show every person I meet respect, and tell everyone that they are unstoppable and not defined by their disabilities.” That is the moment I realized that the Miss Unstoppable Pageant was really making a difference. These girls truly believe they are unstoppable, and are confident enough to start telling others. The Miss Unstoppable pageant continues to change lives and leave an incredible message in everyone’s heart. The Mighty is asking the following: What was one moment you received help in an unexpected or unorthodox way related to disability, disease or mental illness? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.  

Social Media Campaign for Developmental Disability Awareness Month

I began volunteering through a local developmental disabilities agency when I was 12. I served as a friend and mentor in a program called Circle of Friends at my school. For six years I would spend my summers assisting with an Educational and Recreation program. Through these experiences, I got to know and build friendships with dozens of students growing up with developmental disabilities. One thing I found through both experiences is that others in our schools and our community knew little about people living with developmental disabilities. People were always shocked when I would tell stories about my friends and all they were doing. I was told once that to make a difference I had to find something that makes me angry. I didn’t quite understand that until a guy in high school told me that “God never wanted kids with special needs. That’s just not how people should be.” That statement hit me in a way nothing else had before. It was at that moment a spark ignited in my heart. The anger I felt quickly turned into a passion, a mission to show the world people are not defined by their disabilities, nor are they a tragedy. They are individuals just like you and me who deserve the quality of life we expect. It is time the world sees everything they can do. This has inspired me to share a message about the talents, passion and pizazz that make those I care about “Unstoppable” in all they do. For Developmental Disability Awareness Month this March, I kicked off a social media campaign to help share stories about those we care about who may be living with a disability, but they’re not letting it hold them back from their dreams. This campaign will continue, as it is a message that needs to be heard. I have been sharing pictures, stories and videos posted on my Facebook and Twitter pages and encouraging others to share mine and their own with the hashtags #IAmUnstoppable and #BeUnstoppable. I already have a few supporters in surrounding states, and we hope to take the idea coast to coast. It is time to highlight those who are important to us and change society’s perspective. It is time to remove the definitions, destroy the stereotypes and be unstoppable. Learn more about Krystian’s campaign on her website, Be Unstoppable. The Mighty is asking the following: Share a conversation you’ve had that changed the way you think about disability, disease or mental illness. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.