Achieving despite disability

Meet Carla Dela Cruz.

She has spina bifida, a birth defect caused by an imperfect closing of the embryonic neural tube which prevented the complete development of her lower limbs. She is a wheelchair user. Her condition could have limited her abilities and activities, yet she has achieved more than anyone could imagine.

A member of Young Voices which is a group of talented “youths with disabilities” who work to advocate and promote equal rights for the disabled community, Carla actively campaigns to raise awareness of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Because of her active involvement in the group, she was sent to Maryland, USA to study as an exchange student from 2004-2005 and was able to complete one high school year.  Consequently she was sent to Africa in Ethiopia last 2008 to attend in video filming workshop while actively fulfilling her role as a youth advocate for persons with disabilities’ (PWD) rights.

Last March 28 of this year, Carla graduated cum laude from the Trinity University of Asia finishing Bachelor’s Degree in Education, major in Special Education, an achievement that inspired her colleagues to pursue their studies and follow their passions despite their disabilities.

In March 25, 2011 she was awarded as one of the Women Achievers of the Year during the Women’s Month celebration, sponsored by an organization called Women on Wheels Leap (WOW LEAP) in cooperation with different government agencies, disabled persons organizations, NGOs, LGUs and private companies, in recognition of her achievements and excellence in life as a young PWD and for her inspiring achievement in academic excellence.

Carla currently works as a secretary for another foundation in Quezon City where she also stays, during weekends she bravely travels home at Litex taking public transportation such as jeepneys.