What are your goals for the brand new year of 2018? I always feel inspired when January comes each year because I am ready for a change. My goals include speaking engagements, writing and continuing my career. Well, I’m not alone in having new aspirations. For Autumn Kinkade, who also has cerebral palsy, her new year is starting off on the right foot! Kinkade has been featured as a model in the popular teen magazine Seventeen!!
Kinkade and her family are from Adair, Oklahoma. In the September-October 2017 edition of Seventeen, there is a larger than half-page image featuring Kinkade. At just 17, she has a growing stack of magazine features, each with her in photographs. Her accomplishments were showcased in Tulsa World. According to the article, of all her work so far, she’s most proud of being in Seventeen magazine. She had known about Seventeen all of her life, but she never imagined she would be modeling in the magazine.
Premature babies have a greater chance of having cerebral palsy because lack of development and, possibly, loss of oxygen. Kinkade came into this world three months early weighing only two pounds! Because of her premature birth, she has cerebral palsy, which limits her mobility and coordination. One of Kinkade’s goals is to inspire others to follow their dreams as she works as a motivational speaker.
Kinkade felt uneasy as she began entering beauty pageants. Her mother, Dawn Meeker-Buckner, encouraged her to participate. The encouragement definitely paid off, because after winning her first pageant in 2014, her confidence level rose tremendously. Entering pageants has changed her life for the better. By participating in pageants, she gained the courage to become a motivational speaker and a model.
Who helped Kinkade enter into the modeling field is pretty incredible. Kinkade received a telephone call from a former “America’s Next Top Model” participant, Victoria Henley. Imagine her surprise when she received that phone call! She was referred to Henley from one of the pageant coordinators she had encountered. In April, Kinkade and Henley had started modeling, photo shoots, doing runway shows and traveling the world together.
With the new busy schedule, Kinkade started to be home-schooled in her junior year of high school. She would like to graduate early, go to a college online and become a pastor one day. She is open to whatever journey God has in store for her. She never imagined she would be where she is today; her future is bright.
Her motivational-speaking career has taken her many places. She has spoken to churches, schools and other organizations sharing words of inspiration. Kinkade would prefer to speak to much bigger audiences to spread the word. It’s interesting to note that she never prepares written remarks, but simply speaks from the heart.
Kinkade’s world has become very hectic with a lot of travel and quick costume changes. But she says it has been worth every second.
This year, when you are creating your new year resolutions, think about everything you can possibly do and follow your heart.
Note: Cerebral Palsy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cerebral Palsy News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cerebral palsy.