Sarah’s Story

One word to describe her: Bubbly

Sarah is a recent graduate of the University of Northern Iowa and holds a degree in Marketing Management. She moved to the Des Moines area upon receiving a promotion to Department Manager at Menards. When not at work, Sarah find enjoyment in swimming, reading a good book, or jumping on her longboard and going on an adventure.

Sarah shares that she has a very loud personality. “I used to be self-conscious about the way I walked so I wanted to be known for my loud voice, and not the way I walked.” She always tries to make everyone included, and shares that people are drawn to her energy because she strives to make work an enjoyable environment and tries to have a positive outlook on anything she gets involved with.

Her dream for the future future is to be married with two kids while working at a hospital as a Marketing Coordinator. She would also like to work as a motivational speaker on the side to bring about more awareness on Cerebral Palsy. She states that “people tend to be ‘hush hush’ about the topic because they don’t know much it. I want there to be more community support for families with kids who have disabilities, so those families don’t have to feel like they are stuck in the dark, something that Easterseals does a good job about.”

Sarah shares that inclusion means a lot to her. “When I was younger, my mother did a very good job about making sure I was involved in the same activities as my sister. If my sister took ballet lessons, so did I. I never felt different when I was around my sister. She was always making sure I tagged along. I wasn’t different. For so long I felt stuck between the able bodied and disabled. Like where did I belong? I owe it to my mother and sister for always pushing me outside of my comfort zone so I wouldn’t miss an opportunity that was right around the corner.”

To Sarah, being empowered means being able to fight for what you believe in. She shares that doctors didn’t know if she would be able to drive because her cerebral palsy affects the fine motor skills in the right side of her body. However, her mother got her tested and it turned out that all she would need is a left foot accelerator to control her car. Being empowered simply means learning to play the cards you are dealt with in life. They might not always be the best, but with the right attitude, you can turn any situation into a positive one! “Having a disability doesn’t mean you are hopeless; it just means you get the opportunity to do things differently than everyone else.”

Sarah shares this story of empowerment: “One milestone that has continued to empower me was the day I found out I made the Sparkles cheerleading squad at my college.  There were 40 girls trying out for three spots. I thought there was no way that I was going to make it- either my jumps weren’t high enough or the answers I gave during the interview wasn’t what they were looking for. However, a couple days later, I received an email stating I had been one of three girls selected if I was willing to accept the spot. I was overjoyed with happiness. I thought for sure my cerebral palsy was going to hold me back for this, but it didn’t and it was at that point I realized I wasn’t going to let it hinder how I felt or what types of activities I wanted to pursue in the future.”

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