Paraplegic student overcomes hardship, dreams of fashion career – Newsday

When Destini Mitchell-Murray talks about her future, there’s little doubt about her dedication. Like her first identify, her plans are to her a conclusive destiny that she is going to obtain regardless of any obstacles in her path.

“Simply because I’m disabled, I can nonetheless do the identical issues in life that I wish to obtain,” she mentioned. “Disabled or ready-bodied, it doesn’t matter.”

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Mitchell-Murray, 17, has attended the Henry Viscardi Faculty — it's in Albertson and educates college students with extreme bodily disabilities resembling cerebral palsy, spina bifida and spinal muscular atrophy — for the previous 9 years. In 2007, she and her household had been in a automobile crash whereas getting back from a trip. The automobile flipped 3 times, and Mitchell-Murray acquired snarled in a seat belt. Her backbone was “snapped in half” she mentioned, and she or he was left a paraplegic.

Mitchell-Murray, who lives in Manhattan, mentioned adjusting to life in a wheelchair was troublesome at first, however she was adamant that she wouldn't really feel sorry for herself.

“Simply because I’m in a chair, it doesn’t cease me as a result of I can nonetheless proceed on with life,” she mentioned.

Nonetheless, she did have one worry about being disabled.

“I believed I'd not make mates or something, or I used to be going to be made enjoyable of,” she mentioned.

However as an alternative of retreating into her shell, the naturally outspoken Mitchell-Murray turned decided to be social.

“I mentioned ‘OK, I’m in a chair now. Regardless that I’m disabled I can nonetheless be like others,’ ” she mentioned. “I motivated myself that I might do something if I put my thoughts to it.”

And Mitchell-Murray has finished rather a lot. She is president of the varsity’s student council, co-captain of the wheelchair basketball crew, a student ambassador and a member of the yearbook committee.

“Spunky, sassy, assured and a pressure to be reckoned with” is how Monica Snyder, Mitchell-Murray’s steerage counselor at Viscardi, describes her. Mitchell-Murray is a fashion maven who loves to buy and to creatively mix materials and articles of clothes to mirror her personal distinctive fashion.

“I’m the kind of woman who likes to put on issues otherwise,” she mentioned. “I don’t wish to put on what all people else is carrying.”

Mitchell-Murray mentioned she has utilized to Hostos Neighborhood Faculty within the Bronx for 2 years to review enterprise, then hopes to switch to LIM Faculty in Manhattan to deal with enterprise administration. She mentioned she wish to open her personal clothes retailer and in addition begin a modeling company for these with disabilities.

She’s already supportive in different methods. Throughout basketball video games, Mitchell-Murray mentioned she makes positive all of her teammates get an opportunity to make a shot earlier than she does.

Mitchell-Murray mentioned she is wanting ahead to school to “begin a brand new journey and meet new mates.” Nonetheless, she mentioned she is going to miss the assist of her classmates.

“To me, I don’t have a look at them as mates, I have a look at them as brothers and sisters,” she mentioned. “We push one another to do higher once we’re down. We’re like a giant household.”

If I dominated the world: Mitchell-Murray mentioned that serving to encourage individuals with disabilities is the one factor she wish to contribute to the world.

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