Lucy Meyer isn't your average eighth-grader: She's spoken with President Barack Obama and members of Congress, won a gold medal for athletics and raised money for charities.
Meyer was born with cerebral palsy, but that hasn't stopped her from serving as her school's student council vice president or being the spokeswoman for children with disabilities by the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.
"I never tell myself I can't do something because I have a disability," Meyer said. "I don't think about it at all. I just do it."
Meyer, a past Special Olympics gold medalist and current Global Messenger for the World Games, represented Southern California at the Special Olympics USA Games last summer in Princeton, New Jersey, and is continuing to encourage athletes to work toward their goals, no matter what obstacles may be in their path.
And Meyer doesn't just inspire the athletes around her. She also inspires adults.
"If I was going to have a kid, it would be Lucy," said Kiyo Kitmitto, Meyer's coach.
Kitmitto said children with disabilities need encouragement, not pity, a sentiment echoed by Meyer.
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"I go to many events and speak about how important it is to accept and encourage people with disabilities," Meyer said.
Although she hasn't even completed high school, Meyer said in the future she wants to help children with disabilities and swim.