Photo: Jillian Mercado by Dara Discavets. Source: FashionDecode.
Jillian’s tale is one of hardships and endurance, as she had to stand up to taunts, bullying, and other mishaps from a tender age. Nevertheless, her efforts would not go unrewarded, as she blazes a new path through the fashion industry, and sets the bar for other special needs individuals who want to build a name for themselves in it, but are too intimidated by their own disability to give it a try. Jillian was, in part, empowered by her parents to pursue and work for her goals. In their words, they constantly reminded her that, ultimately, the only person who can prevent her from reaching her goals was herself; and it was this mantra that boosted her through all the hardships life threw at her.