Hi there! My name is Mandy and I am a self-taught illustrator and freelance writer based in Tennessee. The undercurrent of all of my work is an aim to create things that encourage people to live more intentional lives. If I can create something that helps people to feel empowered or encourages them to take action, that's such a privilege.
While my writing covers a variety of topics, I have a particular interest in disability rights. In 2012, I earned my Master's Degree in Sociology from Louisiana State University, where I focused my studies on interpersonal violence and inequality. A couple of years later, I returned to LSU to earn a certificate in Parent Education. A parent educator helps equip parents to obtain the education and skills needed to raise physically, psychologically, and emotionally healthy children. I have spent almost a decade working with families- particularly with families facing a crisis. My job has always been to help them become better advocates for themselves and their children in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges. I have worked with families in the child welfare system and those facing issues like homelessness, domestic violence, addiction, and mental health crises (among other things). I've also had the privilege to work briefly as a community organizer, helping equip the community to better respond to these issues and support families experiencing these sorts of crises.
Little did I know that a few years into my career that I would need my professional advocacy skills in my personal life. When we adopted our son and learned the extent of his disabilities, my understanding of the world shifted. I often say that he wrecked me in the best way. I've spent the past many years of his life increasing my understanding of disability and working with professionals in the field to hone my own advocacy skills and help other parents become more effective advocates for their children who have a disability. My hope is that through "The Future is Inclusive" that I will be able to share my skills, experiences, and thoughts with a broader audience and that we can all become more empowered and equipped to craft a world in which individuals with a disability can fully participate in society.