CHELMSFORD -- A Chelmsford High School junior is getting ready to take the stage at a national pageant and she's hoping to help others find the confidence to do the same.
Sixteen-year-old Natalie Didona, who lives with Down syndrome, was crowned Miss Amazing Teen Massachusetts in April.
It was a moment she'll never forget. "I just really love going on stage and doing my thing. And it makes me happy," said Natalie.
The Miss Amazing organization has a mission of empowering girls and women with disabilities, like Natalie.
"I want other girls with Down syndrome to be proud of themselves. I like being a teenager and a role model. I love being a part of Miss Amazing," said Natalie, reading part of her speech.
"When your child has a diagnosis at birth you don't always foresee that, you don't always foresee that she's going to be standing in front of an appreciative crowd one day and talking about how proud she is of who she is," said Barbara Didona, Natalie's mom.
"The thing that I like the most is she's very enthusiastic and supportive of all the kids," said her dad, Kevin Didona.
Natalie will be representing the Bay State at the National Miss Amazing competition in Nashville later this month.
"I'm really happy going to Nashville, Tennessee. It makes me happy. I feel grateful," said Natalie.
To prepare for the pageant she's practicing her introduction speech, her passion presentation, with her hobby of choice being karate, and her interview with the judges, which WBZ-TV can confirm, she has down pat.
for more features.