Sabrina Cohen plans to graduate from the University of Miami in February as a Certified Professional Life Coach. She is a regular visitor at area schools, invited to encourage students to be themselves and to “trust their gut.”
“I’ve spent 20 years telling students not to get caught up in an image. And no matter what the disability, or the challenge, we should never let our fears stop us,” Cohen said. “Kids need to be proud of who they are. I’m passionate about spreading the message to do what you believe in and then go for it. This chair has never stopped me.”
Cohen, 34, lives in Miami Beach where she was born and raised. She conducts her busy life from a wheelchair since a car accident at age 14 resulted in a C3-5 spinal cord injury and paralysis. The motivated, and motivating, Cohen is the founder and president of the Sabrina Cohen Foundation for Stem Cell Research.
On Sept. 12 she will travel to New York to be honored by SELF Magazine as a 2012 recipient in the annual “Women Doing Good” contest.
“I am thrilled for multiple reasons,” she said. “This award puts a national spotlight on my foundation and the exposure is really great.”
Cohen and her fellow honorees, who include celebrity award winners Jessica Alba, Kerry Washington and Jenna Dewan-Tatum, will be honored for making a difference. Cohen will receive $10,000 for the foundation, which she founded in 2006. She said she is very inspired.
“The award puts a lot of credibility on what I’ve done. I am so thankful,” said Cohen, who also has a bachelor’s degree in advertising and psychology from UM.
She was nominated by her friend Miami Beach journalist and author Charlotte Libov who was not surprised her essay about Cohen was selected from the thousands submitted nationally.
“Sabrina’s achievements are remarkable, but what is truly amazing is her spirit. Anyone who meets her comes away forever changed,” Libov said in a release.
Published by Condé Nast, SELF Magazine has a circulation of nearly 1.5 million . The “Women Doing Good” contest is part of the magazine’s program to honor women active in their communities through charity work.
Since her accident, Cohen has reached more than 10,000 children, students and adults through her motivational talks. She has mentored hundreds of the newly disabled and gives lectures at medical schools. She has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for health-related causes, has lobbied Congress, and has spoken at the United Nations.
“I used to be embarrassed about being in a wheelchair,” Cohen said. “Now I’m helping people move into action.”
The Sabrina Cohen Foundation is “dedicated to building a global network of top scientists and clinicians in the field of Regenerative Medicine.” It also helps fund research and innovative therapies to reverse paralysis and effectively treat impairments of the central nervous system. Visit www.sabrinacohenfoundation.org for more information. Chose the Education tab if you would like to schedule Cohen to bring her message to your school or business.
CALLING ALL BRITS
Following their slogan of “A Roomful of Brits Is Never Dull,” members of the British Network of Miami will meet from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Sept, 11 at the News Lounge 5580 NE Fourth Ct. in Miami. Anyone who wants to make British contacts, social or business, is invited and attendance is free.