Meet Charity, our July Scarlight from Flint, Michigan! I met Charity through my Scars to Confidence Facebook Group. Charity was a runner up in the Miss Michigan Global Continental 2022 Pageant! Her platform is to make a difference for the burn survivor community and to spread awareness about burn injuries. Charity competed for the national title this year, and although she did not win, she stated that she loved the experience and will be going back next year!
I commend Charity for the amazing work she is doing and for her willingness to let everyone know that your life doesn’t end with your scars. You can be whoever you CHOOSE to be, even a beauty queen!
Here is Charity’s story.
“When I was 4 years old, I had a really bad case of headlice. From what I was told and read; nothing was working at the time to get rid of them. For that reason, my grandmother suggested to use kerosene since it was “helpful” back in the day. At the time, my mother was a 24/7 alcoholic and smoker. One night while my father was at work, my mother put kerosene on me during a bath. Afterwards, I was too close to the gas stove while she was cooking dinner and smoking a cigarette, so it caused me to ignite into flames. When I finally made it to University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan, it was recorded that I had 2nd and 3rd degree burns on over 60% of my body, plus 20% inhalation burns.
Growing up as a kid was really rough. I had no friends in school until around middle school. I was emotionally abused and had no confidence in myself. I even had to lie, saying my mother was my grandmother since she wasn’t supposed to live with us, and many other unfortunate events during childhood.
Eventually, things started to come around, but very slowly. I started attending the Great Lakes Burn Camp when I was 8 years old, which is a place for burn-injured children to laugh, play, heal, and grow. We were able to make new friends without having to deal with fears around our scars. Ever since I started attending the camp, I grew in confidence little by little. I loved going there so much that I attended every year for the summer camp, and after I graduated in 2018, I became a counselor in 2019!
I moved out of my parents’ home in 2018 and started living with my boyfriend and his mother. I graduated high school in 2019. Now, my main journey is to help out other burn survivors like me! I started a TikTok page where I now have over 36K followers for sharing my story. I joined pageantry to help grow confidence in not only myself, but for other burn survivors as well. I even started my own fundraiser called the Skin Care Drive. The goal is to raise as much skin care products as possible to donate to the kids at Great Lakes Burn Camp so that it can help their skin!”
Questions for Charity
- Why do you want to be featured in a Scarlight?
“To grow my platform even more, spread awareness about burn injuries, and make a difference for the burn survivor community!”
- How has your story shaped your life’s perspective?
“My story shaped my life perspective by not always thinking about the negatives of being a burn survivor. Yes, it can be really tough sometimes with surgeries/procedures, bullying, lack of confidence, therapy/counseling, but there are also positives to it in many ways!”
- What steps did you take and/or tools you used to overcome how you felt about your scars? If you have not yet, why?
“I went to counseling, to Great Lakes Burn Camp to be with other burn survivors, and spending time with friends and family.”
- What is the most important thing that you have learned about yourself through your journey?
“I have the potential to make a change and help other burn survivors from kids to adults!”
- What is one lesson that you can share with others that will inspire them?
“Don’t be afraid to take a footstep into another direction! I was really close to not accepting the pageantry offer but thank goodness I did because my platform has grown since then! Now I can continue helping more burn survivors like me.”
Thank you, Charity for accepting the call to tell your story and be an amazing inspiration to us all! Not only have you not let your scars get in the way of living your life, but you also dedicate your time and energy into giving back and helping others! That’s true SCAR POWER!
Good luck on your pageantry journey! Don’t forget to keep us informed!