Kristin Vandagriff Mrs. Alaska United States - 2019

Mrs. Alaska United States - 2019

Kristin Vandagriff

“Dream Bigger – Living Lives of Meaning” is not just a platform catch phrase to Kristin, it is deeply personal. When her brother was born with significant disabilities, Kristin’s family was told that they should give her brother away and put him in an institution out of state and move on with their lives without him. Devastated with this prognosis for his future, Kristin’s family instead took her brother home; they loved him, cared for him, and got him the support services he needed to live in his community. Kristin found ways to help her brother follow his dreams of leading a meaningful life. She is now the Executive Director of the State of Alaska Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education and leads vital public policy work empowering individuals with disabilities to be able to live the American dream too! This includes having a home of their own, being in a relationship with someone they love, and working in a career they enjoy just like everyone else. As one of the leaders who helped craft an Alaska State Law to raise expectations for individuals with disabilities, Kristin is working to open the door of meaningful lives to all. The next step is making the law a reality, and that can only be done through broad community support so that the focus is on what individuals with disabilities can do. Kristin has also been a long-term volunteer for Special Olympics and wants to inspire everyone to join the inclusion revolution which supports lives of meaning. Kristin believes that her platform is a family affair and often includes her husband, kids, parents, and brother.

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