Role Model for Social Inclusion
We had the honour of connecting with Grace Strobel - 23 year old model, speaker and advocate for people with disability from the U.S. After experiencing bullying Grace decided to take on changing stereotypes and campaigning for social inclusion.
“I wanted to make a difference so I co-created a presentation that I give to students, helping them understand things that are often hard to talk about.
When kids made fun of me, it hurt so badly. I don’t want that to happen to other people.”
Grace co-created #TheGraceEffect movement with support from her Mum -
“It’s incredible to see my pain turned into purpose! No matter who we are, we all want the same things: respect, love and belonging.”
Her vision of illuminating the talents and gifts of all people is spreading across the globe. Grace has walked runway and fashion shows, appeared on The Today Show in the U.S and recently signed her first contract with fashion label Alivia.
“I hope these opportunities will raise awareness and shift people’s attitudes of what is possible for someone with a disability.”
Grace speaks to different groups, including schools, where she’s already educated thousands of students on the value of diversity. Her aim is to reach people on an emotional level.
“I challenge students to look beyond what they see and seek kindness, respect and dignity for all.”
Intent on making a difference, Grace shares openly about bullied in her first job (at a school canteen) and the impact this had on her –
“Some kids asked me for help. I was trying to open a fruit cup for one of them and they were laughing. It felt wrong. What was funny?
I realized they were laughing at me. I felt sick. The world blurred and I burst out crying.
I felt scared, alone and for the first time, I felt hated. I wanted to stay in my room forever.
Mum told me sometimes people are afraid of what they don’t know. That’s when I decided I want to make a difference.
I share my story to show how you can change someone’s life just by being kind and having respect.”
Grace volunteers a great deal of time to opening hearts and minds -
“I don’t want people to be afraid of me or anyone that looks a little different. I want them to see we are capable and have gifts and talents just like everyone else.”
When she’s not modelling or speaking Grace enjoys being with loved ones –
“Hanging out with family and friends makes me the happiest!”
Look out for Grace as she continues to shape a generation of new perspectives.
Check her out on social media;
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