About Rachel Barcellona – Miss West Coast
Vote for Rachel!
A senior at University of South Florida, double majoring in English and communications, Rachel is an advocate for those with disabilities and has created her non-profit, The Ability Beyond Disabilities to inspire and help those that have challenges to strive for their dreams as well as to educate those who might not understand the challenges faced.
As an individual with autism, she often felt like she could not do many things. People with disabilities or anyone who is different are often targets for bullies as she was, but because of her life and social experience, she has overcome many challenges.
Today Rachel is a spokesperson for the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at the University of South Florida (CARD-USF) and also on their board. She also holds board positions at Unicorn Children’s Foundation, The Els Center for Excellence, Kulture City as well as the Dyspraxia Foundation USA, all of which provide services to individuals with disabilities including occupational, physical along with music and art therapy. As people with autism are reaching ages of employment her focus is now also to bring awareness to individuals and companies to provide an opportunity for employment.
Rachel has performed the National Anthem at major sports events and at Madison Square Gardens. She also spoke at the United Nations on World Autism Day and recently filmed a short documentary for Sephora. Currently she works at a radio station in New York and has her own segment. She is an avid writer and is working on a series of fantasy novels.