LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Rachael Ducker is like any other 14-year-old girl.
Lynn Haven teen Rachael Ducker won the nationwide Junior Miss You Can Do It Pageant and is using her social media platform to spread awareness about wheelchair accessibility. (WJHG/WECP)
"I did start eighth grade and it's going good so far. I'm only one day in so..." said Rachael.
She even has her own YouTube channel.
She said, "I just film my daily life and I also do like beauty videos, essential oil videos."
But she says one thing sets her channel apart from others, "I mean, there's a lot of teenage YouTubers and when you throw in being in a wheelchair I think it's really fun and different, you know?"
Rachael has Cerebral Palsy, but she doesn't let that hold her back from being a normal teenager.
Her mother, Kimberly Ducker, said, "She's got so much joy in her heart and so much laughter, and I thank God for that."
Rachael is using her social media platform to dispel misconceptions about disabilities. "When they think about kids in a wheelchair they think about kids who can barely talk or move or barely do anything, kids that have feeding tubes," said Rachael.
Her mother added, "Things like parents not inviting her to birthday parties at all. Like she was never invited to birthday parties in elementary school."
Recently, Rachael's desire to break barriers brought her to the Junior Miss You Can Do It Pageant in Dubuque, Iowa.
Kimberly said, "Oh, my goodness I couldn't even contain myself I was so excited for her and so proud of her because the poise that she showed was..."
"She was the loudest screamer. I was kind of embarrassed by that," added Rachael.
"Rachael, I was in the front row! You could hear me when they're live streaming--you could hear me screaming," said a laughing Kimberly.
And then the unexpected happened.
"I wasn't expecting to win mainly because I was just focused on making friends, you know, so when I did it was just kind of like... you know," said Rachael with a shocked face.
Now Rachael is living up to her "Miss You Can Do It" title by sharing a call to action on social media.
"Well, I posted PSAs on Facebook. I posted one about people staring and my next one is going to be dedicated to small aisles in stores as well as in restaurants," said Rachael.
She's making it her mission to spread awareness about wheelchair accessibility, proving beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes even rolls on wheels.
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