When you're talking to the reigning "Miss You Can Do It," about the economy, you can pretty much scratch the whole "are you pessimistic or optimistic?" question.
Last summer, Alexandra Schmitt of New Brighton won the competition for people who've proven people wrong by proving people wrong. She has mild Cerebral Palsy. She and her twin sister were born three months premature. "We had a 50-50 chance of survival. I weighed in at 1 pound 11 ounces and they thought we weren't going to make it through the night," she told me.
Alexandra is now attending Century College, working on her general courses. She wants to pursue a career working with kids. "Whether it's teaching or working on advocacy for people with disabilities, especially in college. Once you get past high school, the IEP (individual education plan) is no longer valid, but I think it should be."
"I like to try new things and since I won the pageant, I'm not afraid to try something new. A couple of years ago I would never have gone on this radio station to talk to you, I would never have done the TV interviews that I have done. I would never have been able to do speeches. So I think it's boosted my confidence that I can do things," she said.
This weekend, she's going to Washington to attend the Disabilities Power & Pride Inaugural Ball at the National Press Club. She may meet the incoming president.
What an inspiration you are, Alexandra. All of these students inspire those of us who work at Century and remind us why the work we do is so meaningful. Thank you for taking the time to let these voices be heard.
(Acting President, Century College)