Hello and welcome to my website! We all have a story. We all have been through trials and tribulations. It's how we take those situations and grow from them that make all the difference. Since I have gone public with my story about being bullied not only as a child, but also an adult I see that I am not alone. We see forms of bullying every where we look today - in our schools, at work, in our social circles, even in our homes. I am truly honored to be representing the state of Illinois as Mrs. Illinois International 2016. I have dedicated this year to breaking the stigma that bullying only happens to kids and teens. Recently having competed for Mrs. International 2016, I had the incredible honor of being named first runner-up. I was able to deliver my message on an international stage among 61 accomplished women from all over the world…My message is simple – "Bullying does not discriminate." I am dedicated to inspiring people all over the world to celebrate their differences and be accepting of one another in efforts to change the behavior that leads to bullying. I truly believe we can alter the environment in which bullying thrives with a very simple solution - Kindness.
My husband and I met while we attended school at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry. Who knew that a love for teeth would lead me to the love of my life?! Together we have a two year old son who keeps our lives and our hearts so full. Being on this journey with my family has truly been a special time for me. I am honored to have been chosen to represent the state of Illinois this year; To be able to share my story in hopes to help anyone who is going through a tough time in their lives. To make a difference. I want to show there is light at the end of the tunnel. I am living proof of that. As my husband and I begin to raise our son we teach him that words are very powerful. They can break down, or build up. We want to inspire him to be a voice of good, to be a friend to others that may be different than him, to have an open mind, and to be the light in someones darkness. It only takes that one person.
I have been blessed with so many life experiences that have led me to this point today, both good and bad. I truly believe everything we encounter in our lives there is a lesson to be learned. I am a former dancer for the NBA team the Chicago Bulls which is an experience in itself that has allowed me so many amazing opportunities and opened so many doors! What I have learned from the professional dance arena both dance and non-dance related are invaluable to me. Even though I am no longer dancing myself, I am so grateful to have been chosen as a regional mentor for a national company that empowers women, both inside and outside of professional dance, to help them meet their goals.
Being a part of the community is a very important part of my, and my family's lives. I have a life long history of volunteerism and continue to be involved today. I believe we can make changes in our community by having a heart to serve and to lead by example in hopes to create a ripple effect. I volunteer for a number of international, national and local organizations like the American Heart Association and Simply From The Heart, who change the lives of everyone they touch. I am so honored to be a part of both. In addition I am the founder of my own nonprofit "Be Kind. Make a Difference" which is dedicated to bully prevention and inspiring kindness in the community. Please visit www.Bekindmakeadifference.com to learn more about this organization and how you can get involved!
My faith and my family are most important in my life. No matter what comes my way I know I can stand tall knowing I have those two things in my heart. I am driven by the stories I hear, by the emails I receive, by the parents and teachers that come to me for guidance. I am inspired by the successful business woman or the tough athlete that reach out in secrecy in fear of being humiliated. I am driven every single day to make a difference. I do this because bullying is an issue WE have the power to change. This is not an illness we are born with- to be a bully is a choice. We need to change things. We need to start caring and teaching our children to do the same.