Dimon Sanders

Name: Dimon Sanders

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Age: 17

Title: Miss Arizona’s Outstanding Teen

Married/Single: Single

Kids: None.

City you live in: Marana, AZ

A typical day in my life includes…

school, dance, speaking engagements and community service. Being Miss Arizona’s Outstanding Teen allows me the opportunity to promote my personal platform ‘Hope for Children in Foster Care’ and the Miss America Organization’s designated charity ‘Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.’ I travel the state attending events for both. I especially enjoy visiting Phoenix Children’s Hospital because I love kids and aspire to be a pediatric nurse. Visiting the hospital as Miss Arizona’s Outstanding Teen in full regalia helps to make their day better and get their minds on some fun for a while. Dance is also a huge part of my life and it is how I best express myself. During the 5 years I was in foster care, I was very angry and guarded. One coping mechanism I was taught involved channeling that anger and pain through painting and drawing. After being adopted, my parents signed me up for dance and it’s become my new coping skill and a great joy of mine.

I was born…

Lancaster, CA.

My favorite thing about Arizona…

is the sunset. It’s literally the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

I’m listening to…

Shawn Mendez! I absolutely love his music. Maybe one day I’ll make it to one of his concerts!?!?!?

My family…

is special to me because I wished for one for so long. I spent 5 years in foster care wishing for a family. This family was well worth the wait.

If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be…

Misty Copeland from the American Ballet Theatre. She started dancing later in life and defied the odds by becoming a professional dancer. It helps me believe that I can perfect my craft.

One thing I cannot live without…

is painting and dancing. They got me through a lot of tough times.

When I was younger, I wanted to be…

a pediatric nurse and still do!

I’m inspired by…

my mom. We have a lot in common and can connect on similar life experiences. She is successful despite everything she’s been through. She has this inner strength that I hope rubs off on me so that I can pass it on.

The one person who motivates me is…

again, my MOM. We have this amazing connection. She seems to know the right thing to say and at the right time. She motivates me every day to be the best version of myself that I can be. She sends me these long motivational text messages most mornings. It’s a great way to start my day.

If I could change anything in the world, it would be…

that every kid in foster care could find their forever family and their happily ever after.

The perfect day would be…

hanging out with friends and family playing video games and eating BBQ that my dad grills. He is a master!

My first job was…

the job of my dreams as Miss Arizona’s Outstanding Teen! It is a huge honor to hold this title.

My favorite escape…

is dancing and painting.

My life…

didn’t get off to a traditional start. I was placed in the foster care system at nine years old after years of neglect and abuse. While in foster care, I faced some of the darkest days that I could ever imagine. I felt helpless and hopeless. I was so lucky to have a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) there for me. Not once did she waiver. If I was in trouble, my CASA was there. During failed adoptions, my CASA was there. When I moved in and out 13 different homes, my CASA was there. When I was terrified and acting out, she talked to my now adoptive parents about how to understand me and where the behaviors were stemming from. She stuck by me when it seemed like everyone else was failing me. She’s still there even post adoption. I love who I’m becoming. I make the decision every day to be a better person than the original example that was set for me.

I’m currently working on…

excelling and finishing school work so that I’m on track for college.

Always…

follow your dreams!

Never…

give up on happily ever after.

Favorite Quote…

“Don’t let your past dictate your future”.

Biggest Dream…

is to become a pediatric nurse because I love helping children. I also would love to teach kids the value of using creative coping skills like dance or art to get through life challenges. I also want to be an amazing mom and wife like my mom.

My Pet Peeve(s)…

listening to people eat loudly even though I’m guilty of it myself.



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