Many members of our Fashion Focus family are very familiar with Rosie Doherty. Rosie is a Fashion Focus private lessons student who visits our regular classes every now and then to say hi and chat with some of the girls. She is a professional public speaker and at only 19 years old, an inspiration to many of the girls. In fact, Rosie was a guest speaker at our #DefineYourself fashion show. Rosie also happens to have autism and epilepsy but as you might imagine, neither of those labels adequately define her.
A student at Quincy College, which Rosie attends independently, the threat of a seizure is something that looms over her daily. Apart from the medical implications, Rosie needs 6 months free from seizures to achieve her dream of getting her driver’s license, another milestone to demonstrate that in many ways, she’s just like other young women her age.
But in many ways, Rosie is also different and her differences may come as a surprise. For one, Rosie recently wrapped up her second appearance on WATD Radio with Rob Hakala. On air, Rosie spoke eloquently with Hakala about her advice for others to call upon their inner confidence. Rosie’s confidence tips come in five steps:
- Think positively – Don’t let your own negative voices hold you back or feel sorry for yourself. Rosie’s personal motto is, “Don’t limit your dreams.”
- Don’t let anyone bring you down because you are different – Don’t let others’ words make you feel less than or undeserving of respect or dignity.
- Don’t try to fit in with the status quo – You are unique for a reason, let those qualities shine!
- Draw on your own strengths – Rosie notes her personal strengths as kindness, compassion and positivity.
- Look for friends that accept you and raise you up – The energy you keep around you is important. Choose your friends wisely.
In many ways, Rosie is the very definition of grit and tenacity. She spends no time feeling sorry for herself though she faces daily, a condition that at best would be daunting to the best of us. Her mother says, Rosie’s “obsessive joy” is her secret weapon. Rosie has found that joy in Broadway musicals, specifically Hamilton, Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables. She particularly identifies with the Les Miserables character Jean Valjean because he represents the redemptive power of compassion and love, seeing the good in others and is a universal symbol of hope.
Rosie also just debuted her PSA featuring Patriot’s wide receiver Julian Edelman, just in time for November which is Epilepsy Awareness month. Rosie continues to shatter stereotypes and gather high-profile support in her corner.
Fashion Focus is so proud to be assisting Rosie with her public speaking career. Currently Rosie is looking forward to filling her 2017 calendar with speaking engagements. There is no ceiling – glass or otherwise – that limit this fighter’s dreams and we couldn’t be more proud!
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