If you would like to get to know a bit more about myself and our program, here is a copy of the questions from our recent podcast.
Introduce yourself (you, your family, your work)
I was raised by my grandparents and often say everything good in my life is a direct result of something they did or said. I graduated from Groesbeck High School, home of the fighting goats, and all these years later I am living a life I absolutely love on a micro goat farm with the man of my dreams. When I was in high school, I volunteered in the special education classroom and knew that was what I wanted to do with my life. I spent more than 20 years chasing many different dreams, but here I am now, finally, doing what I love with those I love. Together, my husband Scotty and I have an almost 21 year old, a 17 year old, and an almost 15 year old, along with goats, chickens, rabbits, cats, a dog, and various other creatures that roam up, on what we call Goat on a Roof Farm.
Tell us about what inspired you to start No Limitations?
In 2014 was approached Brad Britain, then the pastor of Central United Methodist Church, after a Challenger Little League baseball game. He was inspired by the adaptive baseball program and wanted to offer the church’s facilities and support to begin a soccer league for individuals with special needs. Because of the relationships I had built with families over my years with Challenger League, the response was overwhelming. Our first season, we had 68 soccer players. From there, the program seemed to take off. We had volunteers and participants and parents who really liked the concept of a program geared to each individual’s needs. In 2015 we added basketball, and eventually flag football and cheerleading. We became our own corporation, our own 501c3 and after 5 years I am now a full time paid Executive Director.
What have you learned over the years of working with these children and their families?
All children want the same things: to have a happy fulfilling life.
All parents want the same things for their children: to have a happy, fulfilling life.
Do you have a best story or experience you can share with us that highlights your work with NL?
We pride ourselves in being accommodating and gearing each aspect of the program to each individuals needs.
One of our male athletes couldn’t play flag football due an eye condition so his grandmother asked if he could cheer. This particular child is visually impaired and minimally verbal, and he attends a school for the visually impaired. He immediately picked up on the cheers on Saturdays, and went to his school during the week and taught his classmates the cheers and even performed the cheers at his schools talent show.
That is, to me, the epitome of a “no limitations” life. He has gone beyond the labels, beyond any diagnosis, and is living his best life.
I am also in non-profit work and I know that while it is incredibly life giving and fulfilling it can also be very draining and the burnout levels are high…what do you do to combat that in your own life?
I have amazing mentors. I truly have the most understanding, supportive, loving, encouraging husband and family, and I surround myself with others who have the same passion for the special needs community. As long as there is one mom or dad out there being told their child cannot do something his or her peers are doing, I will be finding ways to help make that very thing happen.
What is the biggest (can be more than 1!) misconceptions about differently abled people?
That a person who is labeled as having a disability “can’t” do something. I don’t accept that. I believe that the responsibility lies on the community to make the necessary accommodations in order to allow each citizen to live his or her best life.
What do you want our listeners to take away from this conversation as they go about their lives and encounter people with different abilities/disabilities? (Whichever language you prefer/is most accepted)
There are no limitations to what can be accomplished when we love, serve and learn from those with special needs and their families, while offering to them respect, acceptance, assistance, friendship, appreciation, and encouragement.
Lighting round questions:
One tip/trick makes your life easier or better?
Goats. Goats make life better. At the end of a long day I love to go home to my husband and watch the goats. It’s my therapy. When it comes down to it, you have to find what makes you happy and go after it. Happiness is far underrated.
What is your #1 feel good, get hyped song that always puts you in a good mood?
Growing up a 90s girl, it has to be Bust a Move by Young MC. It is all about seeing something you want and being brave enough to go after it. You see something you want, “you know what to do: just bust a move!” You see something
What’s is the last or best thing you’ve read or watched/listened to?
One of our No Limitations athletes sent me a song this morning by Daughtry: I’ll Fight. I listened to the words and thought that we all want someone to fight for us, but who are we willing to fight for. I have found my people, and I am committed to the fight for them, for their inclusion.
What is a quote, song or verse that you live by?
I have taken on the phrase “If you can’t see one, be one.” If you see that something is wrong, work to set it right. Stop waiting for someone else to be the hero. Do the work.
How to find/follow you and your work
Most active on social media: on Facebook and instagram we can be found at No Limitations Waco or No Limitations TX. We have a website: NoLimitationsWaco.com and our email is Nolimitationswaco@gmail.com.