Every Organization Needs A Superhero!

The Intersection of Motherhood & Advocacy


Jun 26, 2014 Advocacy, News, Photography, Presentations, Storytelling , , , , , , , , 17 Comments

Meet Tricia.

Mother. Advocate. College Graduate. Smart Phone Photographer. Blogger.

Tricia’s warm smile and frequent Facebook posts of her toddler daughter Brielle are typical of a new mom who has taken to cell phone photography and many of the photographic apps available on the market. Tricia catches each developmental milestone for her friends and family to view, often creating unique photo collages so one can enjoy the kaleidoscope of joy in each captured moment.

Tricia and I have known each other for about a year. We met on the job through a project that I manage for the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council. Last year Tricia was the monitor on the Route to Self-Determination project and during our statewide training on the USF campus in St. Petersburg, I had the opportunity to meet Tricia in person. Inspiring is the first word that comes to my mind when I think back to that day at USF.

Tricia and technology are buddies.  She uses a power wheelchair to get places and she uses a stylus and an iPhone to communicate with the public. Even though Tricia was born perfectly healthy, when she was five years old, she had a massive brain aneurysm due to extra blood vessels in her brain stem. After the aneurysm, she had to re-learn how to do everything. She was making wonderful progress until her parents moved to a small town that had limited services for children with Tricia’s types of challenges.

Her mother fought for her to attend typical classes and advocated for Tricia to stay out of the Special Education track.  Tricia was simply too intelligent! She was a motivated and inspired learner, even though the schools she attended did little to accommodate her physical needs. Against many odds, Tricia graduated from her local high school with a 3.5 GPA.

After high school, Tricia continued her studies at the University of Central Florida and received a degree in Public Administration. She interned and landed her first professional job at Easter Seals. Then came marriage. Then came Brielle in a baby carriage!

I wanted to introduce Tricia to my blog readers because Tricia has an important story to tell. It is a story that culminates at the intersection of Motherhood and Advocacy and it is a story that is unfolding in real time.  Tricia and I have decided to work together to capture the dynamic and the mundane, the exciting and the disappointing, the real and the surreal aspects of raising a child from Tricia’s unique perspective.

We plan to post twice a month. We hope to start a dialogue that includes aspects of Self-Advocacy, inspiration, Self-Determination, triumph and hope. We invite you all to join the conversation, to let us know how each post affects you and we ask that you share these stories with others.

Thank you for taking the time to meet my friend Tricia!

-grace-anne alfiero

Tricia and her family.

Tricia and her family.


Tricia with her baby Brielle at their home in Florida.

Tricia with her baby Brielle at their home in Florida.


  • Tammy Thomas
    Jun 26, 2014 at 3:46 pm Reply

    I love this project already! I’m looking forward to seeing more.

  • g1alfiero
    Jun 26, 2014 at 4:00 pm Reply

    Thanks Tammy! I hope you are doing well! Hoping to get out to your neck of the woods in 2015! Please keep in touch and keep up those FB posts so I can vicariously live a life in the West while still on the East coast!

  • Tricia Riccardi
    Jun 26, 2014 at 4:23 pm Reply

    Grace and I couldn’t be more excited about this project. I really want to help people with and without disabilities understand that parenthood is a privilege all people should have if desired. We love to see your comments!

  • Stacey
    Jun 26, 2014 at 4:29 pm Reply

    I am also a person with a disability, from birth (EEC Syndrome) and also I am a mother.
    Meeting Tricia, I knew I was not alone on this journey, and felt…great!

    1. g1alfiero
      Jun 26, 2014 at 4:31 pm Reply

      Stacey, Nice to meet you!! Let’s stay connected, your comments and thoughts are so important to us! Thanks for your input. Think about subscribing to the blog so each time we post you will be notified!

  • janice
    Jun 26, 2014 at 5:20 pm Reply

    i cannot wait to hear more! it’s a privilege and an honor to learn about such a strong woman and family.

    1. g1alfiero
      Jun 26, 2014 at 6:00 pm Reply

      Thanks Janice, I thought this might be up your alley! Glad you posted a comment!

  • Richard Chapman
    Jun 26, 2014 at 5:24 pm Reply

    This is a instantly important series of articles that you are doing. Persons with disabilities have the right to raise a family. Thank you for doing this.

    1. g1alfiero
      Jun 26, 2014 at 6:00 pm Reply

      Richard, I could not agree MORE!!! Thanks and your input will be very valuable to us!

  • Teri
    Jun 26, 2014 at 6:32 pm Reply

    Great idea. Ive had the privilege of knowing Tricia for many years. I had the pleasure of graduating high school with her and watching her walk across the stage to receive her diploma. She is an amazing person and I think its great shes a mom now.

    1. g1alfiero
      Jun 26, 2014 at 6:36 pm Reply

      Hi Teri! It is nice to meet you! Thanks so much for commenting! I’m glad you did!

  • AmyLou Simerly
    Jun 27, 2014 at 12:41 am Reply

    I am an advocate for students with disabilities and have been for 13 years. I am a friend of Tricia’s mom and former co-worker. It was a very exciting time to work with her mom waiting for Bri to join her family in this world. This is a wonderful project and I will share it with my co-workers.

    1. g1alfiero
      Jun 27, 2014 at 12:51 am Reply

      Thank you AmyLou! It is nice to meet you and I thank you for your comment and for your support! I hope you will subscribe to the blog so you will be sure to get updates when we post in the future.

  • Cheryl
    Jun 27, 2014 at 4:33 pm Reply

    Great to read a blog about my niece Tricia, and the work that you are both doing. You both have a unique perspective on this subject and I look forward to reading more posts! And as always, I am very proud of my niece and constantly amazed and inspired by her, but she knows this already. Go get em ladies!

    1. g1alfiero
      Jun 27, 2014 at 6:17 pm Reply

      Hi Cheryl! Thank you for your kind words!

  • Vicki
    Aug 26, 2014 at 1:28 am Reply

    I couldn’t be prouder of my daughter! Tricia has always wanted to make a difference, and she has and will continue. I feel blessed to have her in my life. Brielle is a blessing everyday. The icing on the cake of life. Thank you Lord for blessing my family.

    1. g1alfiero
      Aug 26, 2014 at 2:18 am Reply

      Thank you Vicky for your comment! Your family is super inspirational on many levels!

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