Megan Swanson – Just a Girl Doing the Impossible!

by | Sep 24, 2018 | Closeup

 Nailed It!, an original TV show from Netflix, puts amateur at-home bakers to the test by challenging them to make wonderful, edible art pieces in the form of cakes and cupcakes. Santa Clarita resident Megan Swanson was a contestant on Season 1; she loves to bake in her free time because it is calming and “it makes people smile,” which of course led her to the fun experience. She is a wonderful example on how to bring the right amount of positivity and pizzazz, in and out of the kitchen.
In addition to being an at-home baker, Megan is a marketing manager assistant at Scorpion, freelance filmographer, and a member/activist of the ‘bionic community.’ She was the 10th child in the United States to receive the Cochlear Implant by Advanced Bionics, a surgically implanted neuroprosthetic device that provides sound sensations to those with hearing loss. Megan describes having the implant as having “the best of both worlds,” but it did come with challenges that were ultimately no match for her positivity and perseverance. “Without it- I’m deaf. Not many people know about or accept the advancements that the cochlear implant has on people. An example would be the hearing community- not everyone is accepting that someone with a cochlear implant as hearing or hard of hearing. Challenges present in all ways as someone who is hard of hearing with a cochlear implant. But it is important to overcome those challenges and be a proud cochlear implant recipient.”
Being denied accommodations in childhood and adolescence due to her hearing disability, from college classrooms to enrollment in private preschool as a toddler, did not set Megan back. Instead, she has made it a mission to fight not only for her rights, but for those in the deaf and bionic communities as a whole.
Megan’s initial journey to California started in 2015 with a 2,000 mile drive from Chicago in order to pursue her career – she gave herself a month to make it happen and hasn’t looked back. She travels back to her hometown and various other places to help conduct the Miss Amazing Pageant, a pageant specifically for girls with all disabilities. She was crowned California Miss Amazing Miss and went on to be crowned National Miss Amazing Miss in 2017. She was one of the first deaf and hard of hearing person to join and has volunteered with the organization since.
When asked about how disability discrimination affects her daily life, Megan says she chooses not to view it as intentional. A lot of people in the hearing community are simply ignorant to the lives of the hearing impaired, and she believes ‘discrimination’ is too harsh of a word to use on something that could be corrected by education. Learning and understanding the information is imperative to making better informed decisions. Also she actively works with AG Bell Association to bring resources and education to anyone who has been diagnosed with deafness or associated with someone who is deaf. “I got my start officially in AG Bell through the L.O.F.T. program which stands for Leadership Opportunities for Teens in ’08,” she said. L.O.F.T. is a camp for teens to learn about themselves and learn how to advocate for themselves and educate others.
Megan’s optimistic attitude is contagious. Her favorite quote is one by Walt Disney: “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible,” and she lives by that standard every day. She believes that the people you surround yourself with and the attitude that you have towards yourself are most important: “If you don’t put yourself first, why should others?” As long as you fight toward a better outcome, and push forward, the sky’s unlimited.  “I’m actively working to advance my career to make sure not only for myself but to show others that anything is possible if you set your mind to it,” Megan added. So whether she’s baking a cake or spreading awareness about the bionic world, Megan is sure to ‘nail it.’