Why Invisible Disabilities?
Invisible Disabilities Association is something that is very close to my heart. A group that “encourages, educates and connects people and organizations touched by illness, pain and disability around the globe.” To be able to connect others who feel the same, through whatever struggles they have been through is so important. Invisible disabilities is a phrase that speaks to me both personally and outwardly. My personal connection with invisible disabilities is being blind in my left eye, which I have lived with my entire life. Being blind causes me to get tired much easier, have little to no depth perception, not very good comprehension while reading, and all of these combined made me an easy target for bullying, little did people know that I am blind. That is my invisible disability.
Outwardly I see a connection towards people living their lives with invisible disabilities everyday. Due to my mothers illness, this has stopped her momentarily from doing the daily things that we all take for granted (driving, going out to eat, going shopping, ETC.) My father was in an accident that left him with a traumatic brain injury. Though at that time he was not able to drive or function normally, he is now 99% recovered with his hearing loss being the worst thing that happened.
Lastly with what I do, reaching out to kids, teens, and adults who are coping with mental illness (depression, anxiety, bipolar, ETC,) I see a lot of common patterns. From an outside point of view any person can take a glance at anyone of us and assume were just as everyone else, “normal.” Although at a more in depth look each individual is dealing what could be considered an invisible disability. This not only effects me in so many different ways, but the world as a whole. This is why I’m passionate about the mission behind the Invisible Disabilities Association, and will strive to be the voice for the voiceless.
Cassandra’s Journey and Passion for Others
Cassandra Perkins began her acting career on the theatrical stage when she was five years old. Performing in as many as twenty productions, Cassandra demonstrated her love of the stage & her passion for speaking. By the age of ten, Cassandra had blossomed into a fine young actress & moved into film, earning several IMDb film credits, as well as a Heartland Regional Emmy nomination.
Cassandra attended private schools her entire life, but when she was ready to start middle school, decided to attend a public school instead. She recalls experiencing non-stop bullying, in person and online. One day, Cassandra was physically cornered in a locker room & the bully became quite verbally abusive. The bullying continued, & affected her so negatively, that she was forced to leave the school and become home schooled. Feeling sad and depressed, Cassandra’s self-esteem was at an all-time-low, and knew that she had to be proactive about the issue. With the loving care of her family & school counselor, Cassandra was able to overcome her awful experiences & become an advocate against bullying & cyber-bullying. She is currently a 18 -year old High school senior attending insight Colorado an online school offering her the flexibility to be able to travel and pursue her acting/speaking career.
Cassandra has a strong passion for people & her community and was fortunate to start and be is a member of Youth 4 Parker, a young town council committee that coordinates community outreach in Parker, Colorado. She volunteers her time for several non-profit organizations such as The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Project C.U.R.E., The Denver Rescue Mission, & Project Sanctuary. Cassandra was the youngest individual person to run a ten-week campaign for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Cassandra became a spokesmodel & bi-monthly columnist for BYOU ‘Be Your Own You!’ Magazine, an international publication targeted toward building self-esteem in tween girls. As a BYOU Magazine spokesmodel, Cassandra has traveled the country speaking to large audiences such as Toyota Young Women LEAD, SOAR at Kentucky University, the California Women’s Conference Girls “B-Empowered” Summit and the Evolve Expo of Denver. At 15 Cassandra was invited to speak on the world-renowned TedX stage at Denver University, about the destructive behavior of bullying, as well as promoting her messages of positive self-esteem & hope. Cassandra hosted her very own internet talk show called “Global Voices Reaching Out” (interviewing celebrities such as author Gregg Braden & tattoo artist Kat Von D). At this time Cassandra became a certified internet & mobile safety advocate and a member of Asgard Stunt Team; learning to perform film-related stunts to help her overcome her fears related to a lack of depth perception, as she is blind in one eye. She also formed an anti-bullying group called Be The Voice.
Today at the age of 18 she hosts her own radio show called “Behind the Mask with Cassandra Perkins” on 810am KLVZ and on 670am KLTT In Denver Colorado where she showcases an impressive lineup of guests, including best-selling authors, artists, politicians, and many others who are powerful influences in today’s world.
Cassandra’s most recent accomplishment was speaking at the Budweiser Event Center during the 2015 success S2 Summit as well as receiving the Youth Inspiration Award. With her love of writing and spreading positive messaging, Cassandra has co-authored several books; Lift As You Climb, a collection of warm-hearted and insightful stories, inspirational poems, and positive thoughts, Young Entrepreneur World: How 25 Teen-trepreneurs Succeeded and Left World Leaders Scratching Their Heads, as well as, Richard Branson’s Virgin.com What Does It Take To Become Young and Successful. Her latest endeavor is becoming an intern for On Fire Books, based in Texas/London.
Cassandra continues to do public speaking for all school levels including colleges and coordinates community youth outreach for suicide and bullying prevention. Cassandra’s life goal is to inspire, lift, & motivate – making a positive impact that will empower others to live a purpose-driven life.