(December 4, 2022) - Center Grove High School sophomore Veronica Salrin is among nine students named to the 2023 class of Riley Champions. Each year, the Riley Children's Foundation chooses children between the ages of 8-18 to raise awareness about Riley and inspire others.
At age 9, Veronica began attending Camp About Face at Bradford Woods in Martinsville. Part of the Camp Riley program is funded through Riley Children’s Foundation. The camp is designed for children with cleft and craniofacial differences.
Riley Cleft and Craniofacial program coordinator Caitlin Church said, “As a team member who is also personally affected by a cleft lip and palate, I’m beyond thrilled.” Church added that having a craniofacial difference can be “an exercise in building resiliency and optimism, and Veronica is giving us all a master class on how to do that.”
“Until I went to camp, I literally had never met anyone else with a cleft or craniofacial disorder,” Veronica said. “I know how important it is for me to realize I’m not alone.” Veronica dove into advocacy, speaking to media crews and donors about the value of camp, and putting together a support group at CGHS for kids with cleft and craniofacial differences. More recently, Veronica has also been diagnosed with autism, something she embraces and celebrates. “Self acceptance is hard,” she said. "But you have to find a circle of people who are like you or accept you for who you ARE, not how you look or how you make them feel."