What makes you laugh?
Erica Powell: Spending time with my crazy lab puppy named Grant. Everyone always asks if he is my guide dog. That’s the laughable part! If you spend even 2 minutes with him, you would realize he is too crazy and wild to serve any type of purpose beside cuteness.
What have you always been wanting to do and why have you never done this so far?
Erica Powell: Any goal I set for myself, I vow to work long and hard until I achieve that goal. I want to be a Paralympic athlete, a New York Times’s best selling author, and a model on a major magazine to help break down stereotypes for individuals with disabilities like myself. All of these things are goals I am already preparing myself for and working towards!
Which person has influenced you most? And why?
Erica Powell: My parents! Even as a child with cancer and vision loss, my parents never treated me differently. I believe that is how I have developed the level of self confidence and drive that I have today!
You have the chance to become the Commissioner for the Disabled. What would you do first?
Erica Powell: Change culture. In our society people with disabilities are excluded, left out, and seen as less than. That leads to individuals with disabilities feeling uncomfortable standing up for themselves, not being self confident, and not feeling worthy of living fulfilled, independent lives. I would use that platform to break stereotypes of people with disabilities and crush the barriers we face so that equality, access, and fulfillment are a reality!