AS: How did you get started in modeling?
CM: My “story” is a little unconventional. I started modeling locally in New York while in high school and a little bit while attending college in Atlanta. After college, I began working and married my high school sweetheart – a year later I had my son Damian. At the age of 2, Damian was diagnosed with Autism. With that news, I halted my entire life: solely focusing on working with him and learning what his needs were with his diagnosis.
After years of working with my son and proper schooling, he began to speak and interact with other children and adults – something I was told would never happen! My modeling dream was put on hold because family comes first, but in 2008 an opportunity changed my life. BET had an open call for Rip the Runway. Four models would be selected and have their casting process followed to see if they would indeed “Rip the Runway”. I was one of the models to be profiled, and I was selected to walk the catwalk that year... The rest, some would say, is history!

AS: How long have you been modeling for Ashley Stewart?

CM: I’ve been an Ashley Stewart model for over 6 years. I was one of the first AshleyStewart.com models, and am the longest running model currently on the site.
AS: What inspired you to become an autism advocate?

CM: I became an autism advocate when my son, Damian was diagnosed at 2 years old. At that time, I was totally uneducated about Autism and was blindsided by the news. As a young mother, I know the feeling of guilt, depression, and confusion when you get the news. I wanted to offer my support and knowledge to all affected. There is hope after receiving the diagnosis, and sometimes all you need to hear is, “It’s going to be OK,” from another person who can relate.
AS: What is the most rewarding aspect of your advocacy?

CM: Sharing my journey helps to give others hope. I receive messages from all over the world, and I try my best to reply to every single one. Early detection is key, but many children go undetected due to shame. You fear that others will judge you and your child. This is one of the main reasons I enjoy spreading awareness in English and Spanish, and allowing folks into my life. My son is so amazing, and his challenges have made me a better person. Speaking about him makes advocacy very fulfilling.
AS: What do you hope the future holds?

CM: Modeling is still my passion, but I am also expanding my brand. I’ve been toying with the notion of collaborating with a clothing brand or creating a capsule clothing collection. I have a few ideas floating around at the moment and am waiting to see where God takes me. ;)
AS: Who is your #WCW?

CM: B-E-Y-O-N-C-E is a constant #WCW. It’s fascinating that she has this incredible career, but also tends to stay private, which is something I admire – Leave a bit of mystery for the audience.
AS: On the fashion front, what trends do you love to wear?

CM: I love trends, but I use them in a limited capacity because my style can be eclectic and sporadic. I love my curves, so I take any opportunity to flaunt them as much as I can. Bodycon dresses, tailored suits, form-fitting jeans… the list goes on and on.
AS: What are your go to fashion staples?

CM: A tailored blazer, an amazing pair of shoes, and an LBD.
AS: (Complete the sentence) I cannot leave my house without…

CM: I cannot leave my house without my fully-charged phone: It’s my life! My kids ALWAYS need to reach me. Plus, I am addicted to social media. I am constantly snapping/posting – and as a professional model you need to have your phone ready to accept that next CHECK :)