Boca Raton Student Advocate Named ‘Ability Icon’

A belief in self transforms and is a catalyst for motivation and purpose in life
Nov. 2, 2012 - PRLog -- Boca Raton graduate, student and disability advocate Stephanie Hammerman has been recognized as ‘Ability Icon’ for November by the organizers of PROMability, the Internet based creative expression contest for graduating high school seniors with disabilities to win the ultimate prom experience, which is now in full gear.

Stephanie, who made her mark at Lynn University, home of last month’s final presidential debate, joins six other national and international high achievers with disabilities who are adding motivational and inspirational support to high school students this year via a collection of special affirmations. The messages from these differently-abled icons from the fields of sports, entertainment, business and education are posted on the PROMability website ( and aim to strengthen students’ self-confidence and help keep them focused on ability as they transition to higher education or the workforce.

“We are so proud of Stephanie’s outstanding record in disability advocacy during her undergraduate years. Her innovative, tenacious, can-do spirit led to attitudinal changes and created broader awareness of issues facing people with disabilities and how they can be addressed effectively. She is an excellent model of leadership, independence and creativity for today’s young people with disabilities,” says Lisa Hamilton-Johnson, founder and president of TLC Mobility Foundation, organizers of PROMability.

“True Transformation Occurs when You Believe in Yourself.”

Twenty-two year-old Stephanie was born with Cerebral Palsy. A self-described ‘young woman living an independent lifestyle, who happens to be physically challenged, Stephanie says of her impairment, “It’s something that has been the catalyst for my motivation and purpose in life.” What’s her message to PROMability participants? “People can believe in you all they want, but it’s when you believe in yourself that the true transformation occurs.”  

Planning for a Career in Student Affairs

From an early age, Stephanie learned to be a fearless and rambunctious competitor with her siblings, who showed no mercy at playtime. She set no limits for herself.  With supportive parents who enrolled her in an inclusive school, she was able to take on and vanquish the challenges of both play and learning. Now a graduate student in higher education and student affairs at Florida’s Nova Southeastern University, Stephanie has big plans for a career that will positively influence the student experience.

Meanwhile, she maintains her strong interest in fitness and competitive sports, heading up a cross-fit community for adaptive sports. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, this burgeoning field of sports offers people with disabilities, regardless of their age or skill level, the opportunity for a fun, active and healthy lifestyle with “reduced dependency on pain and depression medication, higher achievement in education and employment and more independence.”

How to Enter and Win Your Prom Night

Graduating high school seniors with disabilities (seen or unseen) from Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade County schools can enter from now through January 7, 2013, by submitting an essay, poem, video or song on the contest topic: “In My Perfect World…”) at Two high school seniors will win the ultimate prom - from limousine service, prom attire, hair styling, make-up, electronics − all taken care of, thanks to PROMability sponsors and supporters.

Included is a red carpet evening, which will put the spotlight on the two grand prizewinners, and celebrate the ability and diversity in our community. Winners will subsequently receive a one-on-one mentorship lunch with business professionals to further develop and support them as they transition to higher education or the workplace.  Please visit for contest details and to learn more.
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