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Who is Trinity Jagdeo?
Trinity Jagdeo is the founder and CEO of From We Can’t To We Can. At 19 years old, she is also a public speaker who started her journey as an advocate for children with disabilities while still in high school. Currently, she hosts her At Home Series where she interviews kids with special needs and helps share their stories worldwide.
From We Can’t To We Can
Trinity is changing society’s perspective on children with disabilities by turning them into superheroes. From We Can’t To We Can gives a voice to this underrepresented demographic by illustrating and publishing books with role models that kids with special needs can look up to. This 501c3 non-profit organization raised $5,000 in its first two years and is continuing to make strides to surpass that goal in 2020. According to From We Can’t To We Can’s mission statement, every child deserves to feel important. Proceeds go directly to families in need of equipment such as hearing aids and wheelchairs for their children.
From We Can’t To We Can also hosts events catered specifically to kids with special needs. Last year, Trinity and her team rented out a local park with vendors, food trucks, carnival games, DJs, and therapy dogs. They also had sensory items, like headphones, to make kids feel more comfortable at a large event.
Representing Children with Disabilities in Media
Trinity Jagdeo grew up in South Jersey with a single mom who inspired her to be independent. In elementary school, Trinity says she was always surrounded by kids with different disabilities and met her best friend Alexus while in kindergarten. Alexus suffers from spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), which is a disease that affects the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord.
When Alexus was hospitalized after a serious episode, Trinity began to see how much of a financial burden disabilities really are. According to Trinity, Alexus’ wheelchair cost $40,000 and her insurance only covered half, so Trinity wanted to discover ways to help her friend’s family. While visiting Alexus in the hospital, Trinity also noticed there were no role models in movies or TV that Alexus could relate to. In 2014, Trinity reached out to Disney directors to convince them to create princes and princesses with disabilities so that kids like Alexus could feel represented in media. After not receiving a response, Trinity came up with the idea to create her own media and founded From We Can’t To We Can.
Within months of founding her organization, Trinity published her first book Alice the Ace based on a young girl with Down syndrome. However, Trinity says founding her own non-profit was no easy feat. When she first started off, she worked a side job and invested all her money to keep her non-profit afloat. Realizing that she could not dedicate enough time to either one, in December 2019, Trinity decided to focus fully on From We Can’t To We Can and saw her organization skyrocket. Despite her young age, her community has been fully supportive of her mission and thanks to her mother’s experience running her own business, Trinity gained the information and confidence needed to keep working towards her dream.
At Home Series
Prior to founding From We Can’t To We Can, Trinity delivered a speech at her high school, which received high praise. Soon afterward, she gave a second speech at another high school during a ceremony for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Ever since her non-profit took off, Trinity has spoken at over 20 high schools, colleges, and rotary clubs. In addition, she also performs live readings of her books at schools for kids with special needs.
Since graduating from high school, Trinity still gives her undivided attention to her organization. She says that college is not her priority, but hasn’t ruled out the possibility of continuing her studies in the future. Trinity’s original plan for From We Can’t To We Can was to create movies or TV shows and says that is still her goal today.
Currently, she hosts her own At Home Series where she interviews children with disabilities all over the world. At the end of each episode, Trinity donates an item to each of her special guests, depending on their wishes. In celebration of their 2nd anniversary, on July 29th From We Can’t To We Can hosted a live gift basket fundraiser via Facebook and Instagram. One of the prizes included a signed hoodie and poster from Philadelphia Eagles running back Corey Clement.
What Keeps Her Up at Night?
“Trying to figure out where I see myself in the future.”
What is Trinity’s GREY Style?
This article originally published on GREY Journal.