Hey there beauties! We hope your month has been marvelous so far! The focus today is not just on a very accomplished woman that we’re honored to have as the newest member of our ambassador family, Katherine “aka” Kat Magnoli, but one that embodies three words that we all can relate too: dream, achieve and inspire!
The beloved imagineer, Mr. Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” To Ms. Wheelchair Florida 2017, Kat Magnoli, this is not just a simple quote of inspiration, but a way of life.
Despite the challenges she faces daily as a woman on wheels, whatever goals Kat has envisioned, she has accomplished in such a bold and beautiful way! In addition to being the voice for the entire state of Florida’s disability community, Kat is an accomplished author of a children’s book series entitled “The Adventures of KatGirl,” and a radio show host on her show called “Behind the Chair.”
In March 2017, Kat showed great advocacy skills, poise, and grace in the Ms. Wheelchair Florida pageant. This lead her to be crowned Ms. Wheelchair Florida 2017. The following August she was honored with the title of fourth runner- up in the Ms. Wheelchair America national competition held in Erie Pennsylvania. These two programs have missions that closely match that of Slick Chicks; empower women in chairs to live full and impactful lives. Kat uses her personal platform, which she calls “Youbilites” to educate and inform others with disabilities in her local community. She hopes individuals learn to embrace their own abilities and let those take center stage, taking the focus off that person's disability. We asked this one-of-a-kind advocate to recall a time when she felt the most empowered and she replied, “I feel the most empowered when I advocate for others and then get the chance to see the impact it has made in their lives.”
Kat’s year will soon be coming to a close and we wanted insight into the busy life of a queen and that’s just what she gave us. Check out our interview with this ravishing royal as she reflects on her reign as Ms. Wheelchair Florida 2017!
What do you think you have learned during your reign as Ms. Wheelchair Florida 2017?
What I have learned during my Ms. Wheelchair Florida 2017 reign? Wow, that is a great a question! Seriously, I have learned so many valuable things. First and foremost, give yourself time to rest. Secondly, don’t be so hard on yourself when events change their date. It’s not your fault; you can’t control the weather or any outside factors, just how you react. Third, keep your immediate circle of friends and family close because a lot of people may want to take advantage of your title. Lastly and most importantly, EVERY MOMENT IS A MOMENT TO ADVOCATE! You can find people at a baseball game and strike up a conversation that may need your help, so ALWAYS be friendly and open to helping people.
Who is your role model, explain why?
I don’t think I can say one person is my role model because I live my life trying to learn and grow from everyone good or bad that comes in my path.
Tell us about a project or accomplishment during your reign that you consider to be the most significant?
Two things for sure are at a tie: Number one being beach access here in Sunny Isles Beach and number two getting the Youbilities Program to be a part of Miami Dade Disability curriculum. Those are the two projects I am most proud of, not to mention starting my own radio show with my friend, Douglas Longhini.
Tell us about your overall experience during your week in Erie Pennsylvania. Was it what you expected?
Honestly, it was life changing. It really opened my eyes to so many things. For example, I didn’t quite understand when my friend Shannon would say that a girl she met there was her maid of honor, now I totally get it and could see at least two of the girls I met in my wedding party. I also and most importantly, became more educated on disability history that really strengthened my reason to be an advocate.
If someone asked you to describe the past year in one sentence what would it be and why?
I couldn’t pick a sentence, I would pick a word and it would be “growth” because I grew as an advocate and a person.
What do you feel was the biggest thing you have had to overcome in your reign this year?
I would have to say the biggest thing I had to overcome during my reign was not being hard on myself. I kept feeling during the hurricane or when I had my accident that I was failing as an advocate, and I saw that those were just roadblocks to the beautiful journey I was on and am still on, because even after this year it doesn’t stop after the crown and sash are put in their box.
What would you say to a young lady looking to compete in 2018 pageant?
Be yourself and be prepared for anything that comes your way. Also, make sure you give yourself time to relax and just do the things that bring you joy outside of advocacy.
In your own words tell us about your growth this year; describe your feelings as your reign will be coming to a close soon.
I am so grateful for this opportunity and it is one I will never forget. I am such a stronger advocate because of this experience. I will remember all the wonderful people I have met on this journey and take the experiences I had forever. These events that I did may have come and gone, but the connections I made are forever and the impact I made is actually two fold, because they impacted the same exact way.
Here at Slick Chicks our overall mission is to empower women. That being said, we also hope to inspire women to spread their wings, pursue their passions, and never stop dreaming! Kat is a shining example of an empowered woman, much like the superhero she brings to life in her book, “The Adventures of KatGirl.”
Ms. Wheelchair Florida Organization or America programs visit: www.mswheelchairamerica.org
And to buy a copy of The Adventures of KatGirl visit Amazon.
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See ya in your skivvies!
Shannon & the Slick Chicks Team