Featured mobileWOMAN, Maggie Redden

Ms. Wheelchair NJ 2013, 2008 Beijing Paralympian, harpist who performed at Carnegie Hall, certified scuba diver, and ski instructor are just a few of the hats Maggie Redden has worn. A paraplegic Polio survivor who was adopted, at age two from India, by a single mother, Maggie attributes her independence and sense of “live life to the fullest” to her mother, Patricia Redden. Her mother encouraged her to go after her dreams from a young age. Growing up in Jersey City, NJ, with her younger sister Mariya Redden, Maggie has never let her disability define her.

Not one to sit idle, Maggie currently works at Heightened Independence and Progress, a Center for Independent Living, as the Transition Coordinator, helping individuals with disabilities towards achieving self-sufficiency and independence. She is also an Interpretation Associate at Liberty Science Center and just completed an internship with the NGO Committee on the Status of Women (which works with UN Women and the Commission on the Status of Women) and is a student at Saint Peter's University, pursuing her Masters of Public Administration.

After completing her BA in communications from Penn State University in 2007, Maggie worked in the athletic communications at her alma mater office until 2011 in order to continue her Paralympic training. After making the 2007 ParaPan American Team, winning two silver medals in the 100 meter and 200 meter races, she fulfilled one of her dreams by competing in the 2008 Beijing Paralympics as a member of the U.S. track and field team.

By 2011, Maggie had a yearning to gain a better understanding of the world outside of the United States and wanted to visit her birth country. She spent 2012 abroad, living and working at Childlife Preserve Shishur Sevay, a home for orphan girls, some with disabilities, in Kolkata, India.

When asked if she could change her situation (being a paraplegic wheelchair user), would she? The answer is a quick “no.” Her disability has defined her abilities and has given her many unique and amazing opportunities. Maggie is driven by the desire to pay it forward, in hopes that others like her will be able experience what the world has to offer.

To learn more about Maggie, go to
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maggie.redden.3?ref=tn_tnmn
Twitter: @MsWheelieNJMag


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