As with all of our Titans of Tomorrow articles, we are spotlighting the extraordinary. This particular article is focused on those who are "defying the 'disabled' label!" Society puts an unfair stigma on those who have "disabilities" but we're showing you that in spite of these, many people, not just the ones in this article, valiantly overcome them and move mountains in their daily lives, helping foster positive impacts on the world. As an act of service to contribute to the community, our parent company, the Calynn Communications & Creative corporation, and its nonprofit initiative, The Fresh Faces Project, will be donating 10 cents for evey read for this article achieved within the first 48 hours to the Special Olympics of Illinois and The Miss Abilities Organization!
Jessica Logan, Royal International Miss UK Role Model Finalist
"Hi I'm Jessica Logan and I live with IBD, CFS, mental health issues and some other hidden conditions. Despite me looking 'nornal' on the outside, I am actually disabled. This is due to my IBD resulting in 4 bowel surgeries (removal of my colon and rectum) and my cfs. It creates challenges but I don't let it define me. A lot of the invisible illness community are afraid to label themselves as disabled due to the words stigma. Being disabled does not always make people unabled. I now take part in beauty pageants, run empowerment photoshoots / calendars, run my own pageant (the warrior charity pageant) and sell merchandise to donate all profits to charity. Everything I do is to raise awareness of invisible illnesses and disabilities whilst empowering those living with one. I absolutely love making a difference to others and have found my new purpose in life
My website is www.makingtheinvisiblevisible.org.uk "
Oriane Medjom Toguem, Miss International America Nation 2020
"Hey Ladies and Gentlemen my name is Oriane Medjom Toguem I am a 24-year-old Cameroonian American woman who is autistic. I am a Singer and Model with C Talent Management. I am the reigning Miss International America Nation 2020 and I am an advocate for people with disabilities. I've gotten published in Vogue Italia , GMARO Magazine and BEYOND ALL Magazine. I am so proud and grateful of where I stand and I am very excited for more of all the beautiful things future holds for me!
Anna Yanc, Miss Abilities Ambassador 2020
"I am Queen Anna Yanc, Miss Abilities Ambassador (2020). During the past year, I have created and led social media groups to promote Miss Abilities with activities such as Read with a Queen. I often posted pictures on the Mr/Miss Abilities Face Book group when promoting the organization at events such as opening of a Soul Food restaurant in my local town, food pantry contributions and donated food to Boy Scouts, clothes donations, and cheering Loudoun County Sheriff’s Officer Gentry on his release from Reston Hospital from a gunshot wound received in the line of duty. Participated in virtual Going the Distance walk to support ARC of Loudoun County. Supported Night to Shine virtual event by filling the bags being given to the participants.
Adrianne Robinson, Miss Inspiration Ambassador UK 2020
"My name is Adrianne Robinson I am 28 years old and I am a pageant Queen and hold the current Title Miss Inspiration Ambassador UK 2021 and compete for the main Title Miss Inspiration UK at some point this year. I have been busy making appearances and fundraising even during covid-19 to help within my local community as a NHS Responder I now also work within the NHS as a Clinical Apprentice. My platform is Given Time which is all about raising awareness and educating others about volunteering in the community and the positive impact it has on you as well as others. If I was to win the National Title of Miss Inspiration Women UK I would continue to promote my platform on a National platform and help causes that are close to me sure such as Cancer Research UK and Homeless charities.
I have now got a small side project called "Fiercefootforwardx" which interviews individuals all about their views on Volunteering and the confidence it can give you. I have come along way since I started and hope to inspire others to never give up and always be strong and keep moving forward. I am visually impaired due to being born prematurely at 25 weeks have mild Learning Difficulties Dyslexia and Dyspraxia and mental health problems. I want to show that we are all beautiful in our own unique way and showcase natural beauty in some way. I have never let this define me I have always got on with what I can do, I have grown in the confidence to embrace everything I have and to inspire and help those who are in a similar situation to never give up and let anyone tell you otherwise. I have been knocked down for being ‘different’ still do sometimes however I explain my situation then get on with it and let my strengths and what I can do shine through.
If you want to follow my journey please visit:
Becca Tasker, Mrs. Hampshire Atlantic 2021
"I'm Becca! I am 29 years old (30 in early August). I am a mum of 2 and I am disabled with not only physical health issues but mental health also. I started pageantry in 2018 as a way of speak for those who don't have a voice when it comes to mental health like my own condition (Borderline Personality Disorder) and that was how #NeverFeelAshamed Campaign was born - its been my platform since
Along with mental health have physical health issues one of which is a herniated disc in my lumber spine, ACL damage to the left knee and chronic pain
Even with this I have kept going in pageantry not only because I love it but also I've made some many friends that I would be lost without. I am so grateful for my current Reginal title of Mrs. Hampshire Atlantic and my amazing pageant director Romy for giving me the support I've needed through out my pageant journey even though covid put a damper on things it still hasn't stop us from our pageant life just made it change a bit. I will continue to make waves in pageantry!
Michael Nicholas II, Charity Ambassador
"My name is Michael Nicholas II. I have Cerebral Palsy, and as a result I am in a wheelchair. At birth I weighed a mere four pounds, and three ounces. I was born nine weeks premature, and did not breathe on my own upon delivery. When I was born the doctors who were caring for me did not expect me to live for three days. After three days the doctors told my parents I would never walk or talk. I spent forty-eight days in Intensive Care before my mother was allowed to take me home from the hospital. After that the doctors told my mother that I was all right, but she knew something was wrong. To make a long story short, after eight months of fighting with doctors, I was tested, and it was discovered that I had Cerebral Palsy.
With help from my family, I have not let being in a wheelchair stop me from doing anything within reason. From Kindergarten up to, and including my completion of an Associates Degree in History, I have been mainstreamed and included in regular classes for each grade. Because my father was in the United States Air Force, I have had a chance to live and grow up in different places throughout the United States. In one school district I attended in Miami, Florida, the district refused to allow me to be mainstreamed in regular classes at first. After a long fight, the district agreed to change my school, and mainstream me again. Later I discovered a special Magnet Writing program I was interested in attending. I had the grades, and met all other requirements, but the school where the program was did not have any disabled students. I wanted to attend the program. I did not care that no other disabled students were enrolled. After another long fight the district allowed me to attend the program.
In June 1994, my family was assigned to McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey. On June 13, 1997 I graduated 35th in a class of 207 from Northern Burlington County Regional High School in Columbus, New Jersey. In September 1997, I began taking classes on an academic scholarship at Burlington County College. On May 20, 2000, I graduated with an Associates Degree in Political Science from Burlington County College. On May 19, 2001, I graduated with a second Associates Degree in History from Burlington County College. Thank you for reading my message. God Bless.
Benjamin Scott, National Autism Ambassador
"My name is Benjamin Scott. I was born on May 6, 1988 in Chicago, IL. I am a singer, songwriter, guitarist, actor, dancer, and Autism Ambassador along with Breast Cancer Awareness Ambassador!
I'm also a multi-award-winning Male Model for almost 6 years. Throughout my modeling career, I have been the word about Autism Awareness and I have Autism since I was a little boy.
I'm showing everybody that it doesn't matter if we have Autism or Asperger's Syndrome, we are human beings and we can still make our dreams come true. You can make a difference because we can all be independent everyday!
I am the host of the YouTube series SNEAKER JAMZ. The show is about casual sneakers, casual shoes, dress shoes and fashion stories!!!! I have been in the fashion industry since 2014 and I made my own brand called THE SNEAKER JAMZ BRAND!
In closing, we at Icons In The Now hope that you've found inspiration in the stories of these amazing individuals! Our mission to highlight the super heroes among us that are concealed in plain sight is one we take pride in, and it is our pleasure to honor these stars amongst many.