My friend, Grace Key, business women, influencer, student and so much more, was gracious enough to share her story at our 10th Anniversary 'i have a Voice' Gala this past Friday. I had never heard her in a speakers role before and was unsure as what to expect... she surpassed all expectations. Her speech exemplified everything that GiGi's Playhouse stands for, changing the way the world views Down syndrome. She was poised even while being nervous, she was confident in her message and she was an excellent advocate for herself and her community. Check out her speech:
"Hey Everybody! I am incredibly honored to be here celebrating GiGi's Playhouse! And sharing my story with you!
My name is Grace Key. I am 23 years old. I am a sister, a daughter, and a friend. I am an artist, a model and an entrepreneur. I love makeup and dancing. Like I really love dancing!
Oh yeah, I have Down syndrome too and it's not a bad thing! I love who I am! No one is just like me and no one is just like YOU! It would be so boring if we were all the same.
My business is called Candidly Kind. I put my artwork on t-shirts. My mom is my partner. We started it in 2018 when I was a senior in high school to spread kindness and love.
I love my business! And I work hard! We donate a lot tot charities like GiGi's Playhouse! We love giving back. My mom says it's good for the soul!
I have over 30 designs! My first design was BE THE LIGHT. My new one is HEY PARTY PEOPLE. I say that all the time. I love to have a good time just like tonight! HEY PARTY PEOPLE! My website is candidlykind.com. Y'all check it out!
I am a beauty influencer too... I work for Urban Decay Cosmetics, Fab Fit Fun and L'oreal. I was in a TV commercial for Fab Fit Fun.... it was the coolest thing ever!
All these things make me unique! You are unique too! Like I always say... just be YOU and just love everybody.
Now about GiGi's Playhouse...
I LOVE GIGI'S!
I started going to GiGi's Playhouse after high school. Everybody at GiGi's sees me for ME! They see my worth and my ABILITIES! GiGi's Playhouse is a place where I learn and have fun with my friends. Howie and Fred are the BEST! They are more than my teachers. They are my friends! And I love them!
I learn a lot at GiGi's! Like how t make a healthy meal even though I would love to have a cheeseburger and fries every day. My favorite day at GiGi's was when we visited 11 Alive news in Atlanta. I am obsessed with the weather. Seeing how they track it was amazing! If you need the forecast just ask me! I am the weather girl!
GiGi's is starting back in person soon. I can't wait! The pandemic has been hard. I have missed all my friends and Fred and Howie!
Me, my family and my business support GiGi's Playhouse because they help so many people with Down syndrome.
GiGi's makes a difference in my life.
Thank you GiGi's Playhouse for all you do for people with Down syndrome! Thank you GiGi's for shouting the worth of people like me!
Now lets have fun and raise lot's money for GiGi's Playhouse!"
I am so proud of Grace. She is an excellent role model for what is possible, an excellent advocate for herself , her business and her community and I am grateful to call her friend. Thank you for sharing your story with us.