Julia's Story Part 2: Overcoming CP and Competing for Miss Teen

3 min read

Julia holding her trophy

Julia's Incredible Journey

Earlier last month Cerebral Palsy Guide brought to you the inspirational story of Julia Ismael. Julia didn't let her mild cerebral palsy stop her from confidently participating in the 2017 Miss Teen National Competition.

She is such a huge inspiration to the CP community. To make her story more personal, Julia invites you to come along with her on her journey in this short video that she created while participating in the competition.


Keep reading to find out more about Julia's experience at the competition and what she foresees in her future.

Julia’s Story  

The 2017 Miss Teen National Competition was an extraordinary experience to have. Meeting many young ladies from all over the U.S. was such a grateful opportunity. All of us there have our own uniqueness plus all the young ladies I have talked to are all so nice and supportive throughout the whole competition.

The first day there was Wednesday, Dec. 13, the Getting Acquainted Party. Walking into the ballroom, I saw all the winning trophies, they were large. After my mom and I got our dinner we sat at a table, meeting these two contestants and chit chat a bit. While eating, we listened to the host, introducing the judges and then they gave away participation trophies. Before the event ended, they gave us the Formal Wear Question, which was “What is your definition of a winner?”

The next two days were the interview day and free day. The day of the interview I was in a room faced by three of the judges, they asked me many questions within five minutes. I went in the room with confidence to make the judges really know the true me. The interview was finished, my mom and I went to the pool, relaxed and I practiced my walks around the pool for the casual and formal wear. On Friday, Dec. 15 was the free day where my mom and I went to Universal Studios Orlando. It was a nice day, watching parades, went on rides, and saw Harry Potter Land. After Universal, my mom and I ate at Emeril’s to celebrate my mom’s birthday (Thanks, Tatay Juan & Nanay Lina).

Pageant Day my mom did my hair and makeup in the morning. While waiting to go on stage for casual wear, backstage all of us were supporting each other. When it was my turn to go on stage, I did my turns and walk in a triangle shape and made sure to take my time, look, and smile to my audience and judges. I heard many people applauding for me and yelling my name “GO JULIA.” Later that night was the Formal Wear Competition. Throughout the last couple days after giving the question, I was thinking of what to answer along with my mom’s support. I made sure when I went on stage and answered the question, I would not be shy and would answer confidently.

The last day was the dance production and finale where they announced the Top 10. Since day 1 we had been rehearsing for the Dance Production and when I first heard we were dancing I said, “Oh no! I don’t know how to dance!” After practicing for a couple days, I went on the stage dancing what I’ve been taught. They announced the Top Ten after the production. I did not make it to final rounds. Walking out the room there were these other mom’s saying, “I am proud of you.” “Keep doing what you are doing and inspire many more people.”

Though I didn’t make it to the final rounds, I had such a great experience and I feel like a Winner. I’ve told my mom after this experience I want to try to become a motivational speaker for people to hear my story. For people, out there to do whatever they pursue. I can truly say, I am blessed and honored to have had an incredible journey.

Julia is Our Miss Teen National Competition Winner

Image of Julie in pageant dress

Even though Julia didn't make it to the final rounds of the competition, she is still our winner. 

We are so thankful for Julia sharing her story with us and we wish her nothing but success in becoming a motivational speaker. 

Julia is an inspirational young lady to not just the CP community, but to anyone that has a dream or goal that they want to achieve. Her story has motivated and touched the hearts of many. From all of us at Cerebral Palsy Guide, we are so proud of you Julia.

Story and Video provided by: Julia Ismael
Author: Nicole Godfrey

Cerebral Palsy Guide was founded upon the goal of educating families about cerebral palsy, raising awareness, and providing support for children, parents, and caregivers affected by the condition. Our easy-to-use website offers simple, straightforward information that provides families with medical and legal solutions. We are devoted to helping parents and children access the tools they need to live a life full of happiness