Needville Junior High eighth-grader Victoria Rash is Miss Teen South Texas International 2017.
And as big as that may be, it is just one of her many accomplishments.
Victoria, who goes by Tori, has been awarded the Night of Superstars Scholarship, the Learning Alley Star Student Leadership Program, KnILE Center Alumni Academic Achievement Award, received a “Proclamation of Accomplishment While Going Above and Beyond Adversity” from the city of Houston and Mayor Sylvester Turner, is a straight-A student, a volunteer for River Pointe Church iFit special needs ministry and Miss Amazing pageant for disabilities (she was also the emcee in the March event held in Sugar Land).
Tori is also a speaker for the StandUpLD Celebration Conference, and along with Grant Manier/Grant’s Eco Art, she is the co-author of the children’s book “Grant, the Jigsaw Giraffe” on sensory disorder and autism.
But what truly makes Tori beautiful on the inside and out isn’t so much her list of achievements.
It’s her hope to be a “rare voice to explain how the higher-needs kids feel,” as her mom Regina described, and her mission to “pay forward the blessings of having amazing resources and experts by supporting families stuck in the maze of disabilities.”
Tori has a number of disabilities such as autism — specifically Asperger’s, which is high functioning — dyslexia, dysgraphia, sensory disorder, and specific learning disorders. But she never let that hold her back.
“In third grade, I never thought I would be reading at grade level,” she recalled. Yet, through hard work and extra studying, she began to excel.