By Carolyn VanBrocklin, Communications Specialist, Disability.gov Team
When Mariah rolls into the office, she exudes bubbly confidence. Born with cerebral palsy, she wanted to participate in “No Boundaries” because she “thought it would be an amazing experience to show what people with disabilities can do. When barriers are broken down, people with disabilities are able to be active participants in their communities and nationwide.”
Mariah didn’t know a lot of people with disabilities when she was younger. She grew up in an Air Force family, which meant frequent moves, and she was often the only person in her school who used a wheelchair. After her family moved to Texas, she joined Kinetic Kids, an accessible sports and recreation program for young people with disabilities. For the first time, she met other kids her age who also used walkers or wheelchairs to get around. Mariah says the program provides a very positive experience for young people with disabilities. “[Participants] realize they can dream big and know not to limit themselves.”
Mariah says that her disability has impacted her life in a positive light through the extraordinary experiences it has made possible – like participating in “No Boundaries.” Though she doesn’t drive, she’s visited more than 15 states and Washington, D.C., and made close friends along the way. She has a strong support system of family, friends, co-workers and community to help her fulfill her dreams, which she says have enriched her life and helped shape her positive outlook and sense of determination.