ST. LOUIS ( – A St. Louis woman has gone from high school student to inspirational speaker to runway model.

Grace Strobel was first introduced to News 4 viewers in 2016 when Steve Harris highlighted a group of Lafayette High School cheerleaders known as the Sparkle Squad. These days, the 22-year-old is gracing the covers of magazines.

Grace started speaking with kids about what it means to have a disability, and while doing research to help with her presentation she came across a girl with Down syndrome who was modeling. Her mother said after meeting Madeline, Grace wanted to model, so they set up a photo shoot.

Within a week of posting the photos from the shoot online they had garnered over 220,000 shares from across the world. After seeing the photos, fashion designer Ola Hawatmeh invited Grace to be a runway model in the Atlantic City Fashion Show in New Jersey.

Her accomplishments make it hard to believe that when she was born doctors told her parents Grace would never speak, write or even tie her shoes.

“My husband and I would always seek out stories that would provide inspiration for us, or hope for us, and now we hope that grace is doing that for others,” her mother said.

Copyright 2019 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.