His Grace

is a divine call to celebrate the majestic & all-encompassing authority of Christ Jesus! It is a reflection of the humility, obedience and anointing placed upon my life. It is a “due season” event designed to liberate and empower.

 

Grace Words 

He Risen 

 

 

Blake Edwards

"My Disability is My BEAUTY. My Disability is My STRENGTH. My Disability is ME." - Blake Edwards

 

Blake Edwards

Miss Blake was crowned 1st Runner Up in a pageant in Illinois. She's officially the
2017 National Miss Amazing Miss 1st Runner Up.

 

BlakeVirginian Pilot written by Phyllis Johnson May 5, 2017. Reach for the moon and you just might land among the stars. That’s been the philosophy of 26-year-old Chesapeake native Blake Edwards, who overcomes challenges with determination and enthusiasm.

Though high-functioning, she was born with trisomy 21, Down syndrome, but has never let it stop her from pursuing her dreams. She had speech therapy to help with speech impairment and although Blake didn’t learn to walk until age two, she is now an enthusiastic dancer.

Some of her physical challenges have included asthma and reflux in earlier years and several outpatient surgeries. Her mom, Donita Edwards, said her daughter has always remained strong.

“Blake is very optimistic, caring and hopeful about life and people,” Donita Edwards said. “When she heard the term ‘special needs’ when she was younger, she really didn’t know what that meant.”

“I have ‘ups’ and everybody else has ‘downs,’ ” Blake reminds her family.

And she doesn’t see boundaries when it comes to ambitions. She graduated from Oscar Smith High School with a modified diploma and dreams of being a dancer, a designer and an author.

“Blake has actually already written a book that she’d like to get published,” her mom said. “She loves Gospel music and hip-hop. When people see her dance, they comment on how graceful she is and about her technique. She’d love to dance in Hollywood one day.”

Blake’s grandparents, the Rev. James Edwards III and the Rev. Dee Edwards, were formerly pastor and first lady at New Rose of Sharon Missionary Baptist Church on Indian River Road, the church where she loves to do interpretive dance. She has praise-danced at other churches and attended youth conferences showing her talent and winning trophies.

And Blake would also like to attend college like her sister, Blaire, a sophomore at George Mason University.

Brimming with personality, Blake brightens a room.

“Her humor and honesty have caused people to laugh hysterically,” Donita Edwards said.

Blake loves children and frequently babysits. She also currently works part-time at Milestone Child Development Center and is training to become a lead teacher in the toddler class.

As Blake’s mom, Donita Edwards said she is always learning how to be a better parent.

“I realize that we are all students of learning, no matter our age. Blake has taught me lessons about giving selflessly. Having a daughter who can look past faults of others is incredible. Blake is exactly who she is supposed to be, and our family is exactly who we are supposed to be,” Donita Edwards said.

One way she had to become stronger was overcoming the absence of her father, Harold “Tony” Smith, who has lived in Jacksonville, Florida, since Blake was 6 years old. Blake and her sister Blaire have spent summers in Florida with their dad while growing up.

“I believe Blake waits patiently for the day when she will spend more time with her dad,” Donita Edwards said.

After years of growing up in a family where she was encouraged to follow her dreams, in 2015, Blake was crowned Chesapeake Miss Abilities at the Chesapeake Conference Center, a pageant for young women with special needs sponsored by Chesapeake Parks, Recreation and Tourism.

There were 14 contestants from all over Hampton Roads. It was the first year the pageant had been held.

“That pageant started as a good idea and evolved into an opportunity to share a platform showing the strength of women with disabilities,” Donita Edwards said.

And Blake loves her tiaras, sashes and trophies.

“I had no idea when I entered her in her first pageant that it would create such a spark in her,” her mom said.

After winning that title, Blake spent a year as an advocate for those with disabilities.

In 2016, she praise-danced at the competition and crowned the new Miss Abilities on stage.

This year, Blake was crowned Winchester Princess Miss Abilities, a pageant sponsored by a nonprofit group. Most recently, she won the title of Virginia Miss Amazing, held at the Law Enforcement Academy in Virginia Beach. Contestants were escorted by Virginia Beach police officers.

As the crowned queen, she will proceed from that competition to the Miss Amazing Nationals in Chicago, August 6 to 8. Her family has started fundraising to enable her to attend and participate. Blake is looking forward to the competition.

“I love to travel,” Blake said. “I like to meet others with special needs and love helping others.”

Miss Abilities Pageant 2015

Blake Miss Chesapeake