I’m Ariel Dowdy, a depression survivor and a product of mental illness.
I began showing signs of depression at the age of 12, but I never told a soul. The fact is, I was bullied throughout my childhood for simply being me. I was a thin girl, shy, and timid, I would be called anorexic and other unkind things often.
I allowed their words to make me feel worthless. I often compared myself to others and thought “if only I could be like them”. My parents didn’t know what I was going through and so I suffered in silence like so many young people do.
My depression took me to a dark place. I was uncomfortable with people. I didn’t know who I could trust. I didn’t want to get out of bed for school and I would hide from people; always walking with my head hung low. What’s sad, is that so many young people show these same signs every day, but no one pays attention.
This went on for years, until I found the strength inside of me to say no more. I had to see that I was not the product of what the world thought of me, but what I thought of myself.
Who am I? My name is Ariel Dowdy and I am competing in the 2018 Miss Illinois USA Pageant and I need your help to fight youth depression and to teach young people that bullying ruins lives.
Originally from Chicago, IL, I went forward to obtain my Bachelor’s Degree from Alabama A&M University in Mechanical Engineering and Technology. Here I received many opportunities such as traveling out of the country, being initiated into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated and receiving a job offer right out of college.
My degree granted me the privilege of being a part of the Operation Leadership Development Program (OLDP) with Lockheed Martin. The OLDP program is a 3-year rotational program that promotes professional growth and development in the engineering profession.
I have a mission to be of “Service to All Mankind”. Competing in the Miss Illinois USA Pageant will allow me the chance to deliver my story and platform of raising more awareness and finding solutions to youth depression and bullying and for helping to cultivate future leaders. I want to lead by example and show them that DEPRESSION cannot defeat you and that if you want it bad enough, you can dream and achieve big things in life. I know it, because I live it.
I can ot accomplish my goal without you!
Extensive preparation and outstanding coaching is imperative at this elite level of competition. Therefore, I am seeking your help to ensure that I perform at the highest level! Your contribution will assist me with the following:
- Registration Fees
- Sponsorship Fees
- Platform Campaigning
- Hotel/ Accommodations
- Fitness Training
- Pageant Coaching
- Hair/ Makeup
- Image Consulting
- Evening Gown/ Wardrobe
Any and all support will be greatly appreciated! Competing in the Miss Illinois USA Pageant is the perfect opportunity to display my growing confidence, which will encourage ALL who battle with depression as I did.
Thank you so much for your time and consideration.
Click on the link for more information about the Miss Illinois USA pageant.
Miss Illinois Website