TAMPA, Fla. – Raquel Caramello was a champion athlete and a workforce cheerleader as she competed within the ffith annual ‘Champions for Change’ all-inclusive health problem Saturday morning.
The Tampa-based non-profit 21 & Change hosted the occasion at Tampa Motion Lab.
“This group is particular as a result of we champion inclusion, schooling, and human rights for individuals with developmental disabilities throughout Florida and work with households to supply scholarships for them,” mentioned 21 & Change President Clayton Clemens.
It is a mission that spoke volumes to Raquel.
As a 19-year-old with Down syndrome and a leukemia survivor, she’s spent her life inspiring others together with her story.
She was lately appointed to 21 & Change’s board of administrators as their first self-advocate.
“It is so vital with organizations like 21 & Change to have people who they signify be part of that voice,” mentioned Raquel’s mother, Janet Caramello.
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Via legislative advocacy and philanthropy, Raquel has used that voice to share one message: that folks with disabilities are identical to everybody else.
“If in case you have a dysfunction or incapacity, simply present you are gentle,” Raquel burdened.
She’s not stopping there.
Not solely is she gearing up for her first semester at St. Pete School, however she additionally owns her personal Jewellery firm known as ‘Raquel Stunning.’
Each bit comes with a private observe signed ‘You’re lovely,’ one thing she wished everybody to really feel after she was bullied in class for her look after chemotherapy therapies for Leukemia.
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“She simply has so many goals to stay a life like some other highschool graduate,” her mom added. “She desires to fall in love, get married and stay on her personal and we’re simply right here to assist her.”
A number of native and state officers who assist 21 & Change’s mission participated, together with state Sen. Jay Collins (R-Tampa).
Champions for Change raised greater than $60,000 with the assistance of donors and sponsors. That cash will go to 21 & Change’s scholarship program.
To study extra about find out how to get entangled with 21 & Change, you possibly can go to https://21andchange.org/.