E Advocates #13 – Why Advocacy Matters To Me – Guest Blog Miss Missouri 2023 Hayley Leach | Emmaus Homes

E-Advocates #12

Why Advocacy Matters To Me
February 26, 2024 | Guest Blog by Emmaus Advocate and Miss Missouri 2023 Hayley Leach

Advocacy work has always held a special place in my heart. However, it’s not just a professional calling for me—it’s deeply personal.

Growing up with a brother, Matthew, who is on the autism spectrum, has shaped my life in profound ways. Witnessing the challenges and triumphs he faces has ignited a fire within me to advocate for individuals and families like my own. It is this personal connection that drives me to tirelessly champion disability issues and funding for services.

Being a second-year law student at Washington University and Miss Missouri has afforded me a platform to raise awareness and spark conversations about disability issues on a larger scale. It’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly, and I’m committed to using my title and legal background to advocate for a more inclusive and equitable society.


Advocacy work isn’t just about lobbying and meetings; it’s about amplifying the voices of those who are often marginalized and overlooked. Meeting with legislators to discuss disability issues and funding is crucial because it provides an opportunity to educate policymakers about the realities faced by individuals with disabilities and their families.


Whether it’s advocating for increased funding for special education programs, promoting accessible healthcare services, or fighting for equal employment opportunities, every conversation with a legislator has the potential to create meaningful change.

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