Mason Morris is from Tallahassee, Florida. She was diagnosed with Spina Bifida at birth. Mason earned an associate’s degree in Sociology from Tallahassee Community College. She works as an accountant for the Department of Corrections and has volunteered with Miracle League Baseball for the past few years.
She has two older brothers and one younger sister and is the proud aunt of two nieces and one nephew. Mason is an avid FSU baseball fan attending all the home games since 2011. In her free time, she enjoys fishing, swimming and sports photography. She describes herself as compassionate, hardworking, and humorous. Her motto in life is “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Damaris Febo Damaris is from Winter Park, Florida. She was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at birth. She earned her associate’s degree in General Studies from Valencia College and a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services with a concentration in children and families from the University of Phoenix. She recently interned at the Center for Independent Living of Central Florida providing resources for those with disabilities to obtain their independence within themselves and in their communities. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, word games and going to the dog park with her dog Niko. Damaris describes herself as a leader, caring, and smart. Her motto in life is “The only limitations are those you put on yourself.
Yvonne Milton Yvonne Milton is from Jacksonville, Florida. She was diagnosed with spina bifida at birth. Yvonne attends Florida Career College where she is enrolled in the Medical Assistant Technician Program. She is also obtaining her certification in Christian Life Counseling. Yvonne has created a T-shirt line aimed at empowering young women with disabilities. She is involved in nonprofit organizations such as Comfortable with Myself” and “Wheel Sister Circle” which encourages women to be comfortable in their own skin. Yvonne describes herself as blessed, confident, and determined. Her motto in life is “Never allow anyone to discourage you from living your life on purpose.
Katherine Magnoli Katherine Magnoli is from Sunny Isles Beach, Florida. She was diagnosed with spina bifida at birth. Katherine has earned her associates degree in Exceptional Student Education from Miami Dade College. She works at the Center for Independent Living in South Florida where she is the facilitator for the biweekly writers group. She is the co-host of a local website radio show called Brain Matters where people with disabilities are interviewed and highlighted for their achievements and successes in the community. Katherine is a children’s book author of a book series entitled, “The Adventures of KatGirl”. In her free time, Katherine enjoys writing, painting and participating in adaptive sports. She describes herself as friendly, creative and resilient. Her motto in life is “We all have our own set of abilities I refer to as You-bilities, and we must learn to focus on that and work on them every day.
Shavaughn Barnes Shavaughn Barnes is from Jacksonville, Florida. She is currently double majoring in Special Education and at Western Governors University. Shavaughn is a 4th grade elementary education teacher as well as a teacher of dance, drama, music and study skills at Father’s Harbor Academy. Shavaughn is involved in the Florida Youth Leadership Forum where the purpose is to promote inclusion, leadership and independence among young adults with disabilities. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, and incorporating sign language into her favorite songs. She describes herself as hardworking, understanding, and realistic. Her motto in life is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.
Gianna Gonzalez Gianna is from Tavares Florida and was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at birth. She attends the University of Central Florida where she is pursuing a B.A in Latin American Studies. Gianna is fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese and would like to pursue a career as a Spanish teacher. She enjoys poetry, singing, and listening to music. She describes herself as goofy, uplifting, and resourceful. Her motto in life is “We all have the wheel power to make change within our community.
Melissa Ann Walsh Melissa Walsh is from Orlando, Florida. At the age of 18, she was involved in a drunk driving accident where she became a C3 quadriplegic. Melissa earned a bachelor’s degree in Human Communication from the University of Central Florida. Melissa volunteers her time with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Florida Safety Council, as well as, speaking to local high school students about her personal experiences and the consequences associated with drinking and driving. In her free time, Melissa enjoys painting, physical therapy and being outdoors. She describes herself as outgoing, positive, and free spirited. Her motto in life is “Every day holds the possibility of a miracle".
LaQuantis Morton is from Boynton Beach, Florida. In 2009, LaQuantis was involved in an automobile accident which rendered her a T-3 paraplegic. She is actively involved in the Advocacy and Legislation Committee of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, Florida Chapter where the committee addresses the needs of veterans in the South Florida area. LaQuantis served as a Specialist in the U.S. Army from 1994-1997. She is a Licensed Practical Nurse and the owner of QTQ Global, Inc., a janitorial and office supply distributor. In her free time, she enjoys attending food and wine tastings, art galleries, and playing a variety of sports. She describes herself as outgoing, energetic, and compassionate. Her motto in life is “Feel the fear, do it anyway… desire has to be stronger than fear”.
Abigail Hucker is from Orlando, Florida. She was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at birth. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Edinboro University. Abigail currently works as an admissions host for the Merlin Entertainment Group also known as the Orlando Eye. In her free time, she enjoys Tae Kwon Do, where she is ranked as a green belt, writing poetry, and playing the drums. She describes herself as innovative, funny, and creative. Her motto in life is “Just be you”.