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The rewards of positivity

Profile: Canyon Country woman up for $10,000 prize

Posted: December 11, 2010 10:31 p.m.
Updated: December 12, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Jazmin Treadway hopes to win the top prize from the Positivity Project to continue her work with families in need.

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Jazmin Treadway, of Canyon Country, has always believed in the power of positivity.

It’s what got her through a stint in a wheelchair at age 6 after a car accident, what held her up when she crumpled from not one, but two devastating knee injuries as an adult. And it helped her earn a master’s degree in occupational therapy so she could help others.

“I’ve experienced learning how to walk a multitude of times over the span of my 26 years,” Treadway said. “Some might have given up or lost hope, but it was in these moments of vulnerability, pain and defeat that I learned the power of love, patience, humility and grace.”

Positivity project
Treadway’s positive outlook landed her as a top-10 finalist in the Amway Corp.’s Positivity Project, a national contest created to recognize and celebrate the impact that positive thinking has on people’s lives.

She was on Facebook a few months ago when she saw the contest’s banner ad and clicked on it. “It caught my attention. I went to the website and decided to try entering,” Treadway said.

Amway received more than 400 entries for the contest, which were narrowed down to 25. Those entries were then presented to the public to choose the top 10.

Treadway networked through Facebook, where she has more than 900 friends, and e-mail to enlist voters. “I was hoping I’d be a finalist. When I heard I was in the top 10, I called my mom and told her the good news,” she said.

Amway is offering one grand prize of $10,000 and nine runner-up prizes of $2,500 — given with the goal of paying forward the power of positivity.

“Obviously, Jasmine’s story is a wonderful one and very inspiring,” said Gary Mougalian, marketing director for Amway.

She finds out Monday who the grand-prize winner will be at the Positivity Project concert by John Tesh in Hagerstown, Md. Treadway and the other contestants will be flown out by Amway for a special dinner with Tesh, followed by the concert.

“I’m looking forward to it even though it will be cold out there,” Treadway said. “I really don’t know what to expect, but the chance to interact with the other contestants will be exciting. Overall, it’s just been a wonderful experience so far.”

 Overcoming obstacles
Born in Los Angeles, Treadway’s family moved to Canyon Country when she was in the third grade. This was after a car crash left her pelvis fractured, which required extensive physical therapy and the use of a wheelchair for several months.

“I don’t remember a lot of it, but I do remember my grandfather came down from Modesto and stayed with us for a while. He would take me for walks around the neighborhood to help me get back on my feet,” Treadway said. “I had so much support, the focus was on healing.”

A graduate of Canyon High School, Treadway was on varsity track throughout her teens and into college. She attended University of Southern California where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, followed by a master’s degree in occupational therapy in 2008.

USC was also the site of her first knee injury, which happened when Treadway was at a football game. She turned the wrong way and was brought to her knees in agonizing pain. The dislocation required a hip cast for six weeks and three months of physical therapy.

“It was hard. I was used to doing a lot of things. Suddenly, there were a lot of things I couldn’t do, and I had to rely on others to help me,” Treadway said. “It slowed me down and taught me patience.”

A year later, the same injury occurred in her opposite knee, which gave Treadway a level of empathy for the patients she would soon be serving.

“There a definite understanding of what it means to go through an experience like that,” she said. “We all go through something. It’s an opportunity to know you’ll get on the other side of it.”

Helping others
Knowing she has won at least $2,500 in the contest, Treadway has already helped low-income families with disabled children. Many were patients at a pediatric clinic in Encino where she worked before transferring to Pediatric Therapy of Santa Clarita this week.

“Some families at the clinic are having a hard time financially. I connected with them. I knew they could use a little extra money, so I chose to give back to a few families there,” Treadway said.

If she wins the $10,000 grant from Amway’s Positivity Project, the money will continue Treadway’s mission to serve this population.

“I have seen the burdens of financial, physical and emotional stress on these families firsthand. Any opportunity to give them gifts of encouragement and hope would be an amazing and humbling blessing,” she said. “Positivity has inspired me to live a life that matters and has challenged me to strive to make a difference in the lives of others.”

For more information on Amway’s Positivity Project, visit


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