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Giving Back to Ability First Sports

As part of my platfrom Im excited to donate my time or a portion of my speaking fees to organizations that advice the independence and the inclusion of people with disabilities.

Thanks so much to @abilityfirstsports for inviting me to share some time with your awesome organization, athletes & campers tonight!!

“Ability First Sports builds leaders through involvement in competitive sports, allowing them to focus on their abilities, rather than their disabilities, as they gain independence, strength, endurance, and flexibility through athletics.” https://www.abilityfirstsports.org/

This was so fun! Our youth sure makes the future look bright!! ♥️

I am competing at Speaker Slam!

I am so proud to announce that I am competing at Speaker Slam: The Online Speaking Competition. The theme of the event is Fathers: The Men Who Shape Us!

My Father, my Papa challenged me to be brave. He guided me in seeing clearly the endless possibilities we are offered as we overcome life’s biggest  struggles. My Papa was so important. I am competing to honor him and his memory.

I will be sharing my speech “Inclusion. Imagine Possible.” on #InspirationDay which will be taking place on June 21st!

Speaker Slam is an Inspirational Speaking Competition, which features speakers from all over the globe going head to head and heart to heart to determine who is the 2021 Inspirational Speaker of the Year. The winner of this competition will walk away with a prize package valued at $5,000 and the opportunity to compete at the Grand Slam for the title.  

I hope to see you there!

The top 10 speakers will be determined by the Speaker Slam team and revealed on the day of the competition. The top videos will be played in front of the judges.  Wish me luck as I vie for one of the top spots. 

I’d love for you to join me and the Speaker Slam community for the competition taking place on June 23rd at 7 pm EST. 

Tickets can be found at https://www.speakerslam.org/events

Alkami Technology Speaker Series

I delivered my “Heart of Inclusion” speech to Alkami Technology yesterday during their Speaker Series. On top of that they offered to donate to a charity of my choice keeping true of their mission of “transform ordinary into extraordinary” and progressing forward DE&I!

Ability360, is an organization that provides exceptional adaptive sports and fitness programs that promote the independence, health, and overall well being of people with disabilities and their family.

I started playing wheelchair tennis was 4years old. An inclusive sport we could play together as a family. This was the single most important gift of my life.

Through tennis I learned to be strong, competitive, independent and one with my chair through play. All foundational tools I have carried through my life and career.

To give back to other little ones like me so they also gain the courage to make their way from the tennis court to the speaking stage or wherever they dream most is incredible.

#diversity#inclusion#equality#womanleaders#seemeforme#heartofinclusion#seeme#speakupforinclusion#speaker#progression#motivate#inclusionsuperwoman#bettertogether#disableableism#shareyourstory#dreambig#changemaker#lifegoesonwheels#beleiveinpossibleAlkami Technology#wheelchairsportsAbility360

TEDx South Lake Tahoe!

As I rolled onto that stage and onto that red dot it was literally an unbelievable moment in my lifetime. But it was also as of this one moment had been waiting for me my entire life. A moment waiting oh so patiently until I was ready. And now I am just that, ready. Not only ready but completely and totally ready. It is as if the fate of my life path has her arms wide open ready to receive me more than ever before. My destiny ready to embrace me, to support me, to guide me, to encourage me and believe in me. I can see more clearly now than ever how the pathways of my past connect to the destiny of my future and it all makes complete sense propelling me straight into my purpose.

I was completely star struck by that RED DOT. I was completely star struck by that BIG beautiful TEDx sign behind me. I was completely in awe of the awesome opportunity in front of me and that I had accomplished this very here and now! I was a nervous but mostly I was so ready. I was prepared for this quiet intimate moment that was just for me, on that dark stage under those bright lights. Just me and my story. Just me and my message. Just me and my purpose. It was my moment to help others, to share persecutive, to teach something most literally know or see or consider and in-return I was received. Inclusion is collaborative and collective. This was my moment to be “seen for me” and to be heard for me and to be included for ALL of me just the way I am. This was one of the most important moments of my life. I did it. I am so proud!

Thankful for my amazing family, friends and community who showed up for me to support me especially Marty & Regina…this was our moment!

Proud to be a part of the Baddie B club!

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I had the incredible opportunity to be a guest on the Badass Basic Bitch podcast! This Podcast is EVERYTHING!! It truly is a platform for celebrating women and showcasing life’s possibilities! This podcast highlights “ordinary women doing extraordinary things.” To to be invited was very cool! I got to discuss things I don’t normally speak on like love, relationships, self-image, and resilience. We also chatted about my soon to be released TEDx Talk “Disabling Ableism. The modern pathway to inclusion.” Please take a listen, I promise you will enjoy it! Proud to be a part of the Baddie B club! Tune in, its sooooo good!

“Just a scrap of a note. A tiny piece of my heart attached.”

This is my Mom and Dad (my Papa). They are both gone. We lost each of them way to young but they are proof that the impact we can offer in life is massive even if our time is short on earth if we are willing to try.

I am who I am because of them and the decision they made for me. I am who I am because of lessons they instilled in me from day one. The belief that anything is absolutely possible. And in two days I honor them as I take TEDx stage.

A nice reminder: A note of love, encouragement and belief from my Papa to Regina and I in college and VERY fitting now:

just a scrap of a note. a tiny piece of my heart attached. age has it’s compensations. and the best is the contemplation of my girls. saw a picture of you as babies. and the cutest little guys you were. my first born. it is a prick of the the rose throne to think of your mother. but at the risk of being modlin, i know with the certainty of the ages that she is smiling on your accomplishments. she would say, “i love you. i’m proud of your accomplishments…now start believing in yourselves.. and conquer the world…for yourselves and a tiny bit for me.”

love papa

Mama and Papa I BELIEVE and will conquer this world …for me but also 💯 for you!

L
A

I’m ready for you big red dot.

Twenty years ago, I left my home in Southern California moving far away from everything I knew: my family, my medical team, the comfortable safe environment that I had mastered my independence in, and I even left Marty (which was the hardest part) to find my true self and to forge the roots of my will.

Living in Lake Tahoe, CA is where I mastered the craft of being a waitress in a wheelchair after receiving global notoriety for it in Southern California as a teenager. It is the place I started my educational journey enrolling into Lake Tahoe Community College. When I moved there, I was a young insecure woman full of so many doubts of what was possible for me, but it is also where I grew into a strong powerful woman through my life experiences and navigating the environment of the lake.

I would hike difficult trails sometimes having to jump out of my wheelchair to crawl over tree trunks blocking the path and then pulling my chair over and continuing on. I would ski down snowy mountains and kayak the many lakes.

And, OH that snow! Wow did we have an up-close and personal relationship. The snow forced me, it challenged me, to be stronger than ever. Shoveling snow was not an easy task for me.

I would end late shifts at work, after a snow, making my way to my car, and I would then literally climb on top of the hood of my car to scrape the ice off my windshield. Sometimes I would arrive home and the snow was so deep I could not get to my front door with my wheelchair. So, I would leave my wheelchair in my car and crawl from my car to the front door in the snow. I cannot believe I did some of this looking back!

Lake Tahoe Community College was also the first place I was ever invited to speak. It was during disability awareness week, way before speaking was on my radar, and now, the lake and the college are gifting me another massive opportunity of growth, speaking on the TEDx stage for my first time! One week from today it’s go time!

Sitting this morning in reflection of the many powerful gifts this lake has offered me over my lifetime, I’m grateful. I’ve realized that for me to accomplish all of these things I’ve had to be willing to push my fear aside and boldly venture forward to where I need to be.

I’m ready for you big red dot.

Exercise therapy!

I was asked the other day in an interview “Alycia how do you stay grounded with all that you have going on.” Easy, I strap weights on my wrists, turn up the tunes and I “PUSH” hard straight up as many hills as I can possibly find for an hour at least. Equaling a clear mind and relaxed happy soul. Exercise therapy! 💪🏻

“Resilience”

Two weeks to go! “Resilience” the theme of TEDx South Lake Tahoe where I will be delivering my talk “Disabling Ableism: The modern pathway to inclusion.”

Seriously… this could not this be any more perfect! Their goal “ to celebrate the human spirit. Where we gain hope in others and rise above through our resilience.”

Powerful.

I’m so freaking excited!