Bringing Style: Ya’ira Somerville is our May Volunteer of the Month

“The more I learn about the organization, the more inspired I become. The Cerebral Palsy Association of BC (CPABC) not only does so much for the cerebral palsy community, but for the province as a whole,” says Ya’ira Somerville, a CPABC volunteer.

She found out about us through her mother — taking an interest in the CPABC through her mom’s work as Communications Manager at Kids Brain Health Network. Their research focuses on autism, cerebral palsy, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

The research network works closely with CPABC to provide a research basis for the CPABC’s social and recreational programs.

Taking the First Step

Ya’ira’s interest in events and wedding planning as a future career sparked her desire to gain experience in special events coordination at a non-profit organization. She volunteered at the CPABC’s Life Without Limits Gala in March 2017 and says the event was “incredibly inspiring and a phenomenal experience”. Ya’ira provided a helping hand with event set up, greeting guests, offering directions and assisting guests with other needs.

A Major Project

The young lady is still a high school student but is not short on ambition. The Vancouver resident is using her past modeling experience and connections to produce an adapted fashion show for the local CP and fashion community. By combining special needs and ethical fashion design in a joint runway show, “I am aiming for public awareness as well as an evening of entertainment for all who are involved,” Ya’ira says.

She believes that cerebral palsy is still widely misunderstood by the public, despite being the most common childhood physical disability, and that needs to change. An adapted fashion show is one step towards greater inclusion and understanding for people with disabilities. The Cerebral Palsy Association of British Columbia is thankful for her initiative supporting people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities to live a Life Without Limits.


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