Sami is a college student who beat cancer when she was just a senior in high school. We partnered with Make-A-Wish to help grant Sami’s wish—to join the Aerie fam for a full day of #AerieREAL!

Why did you want to join Aerie for your wish, and what do you hope comes from your experience?

I have always wanted to have the opportunity to be a model, but I knew that I wanted to do it with a purpose that was more than just the desire to model and get myself out there. When I had the chance to make a wish, I knew that modeling for Aerie was the right decision because it gave me that purpose that I was seeking. Aerie allows women to feel beautiful on the inside and on the outside. They are extremely body inclusive and I knew I wanted to be a part of that movement. I have always struggled with my body image, so being able to model for Aerie meant the world to me. Knowing that I have not only positively impacted myself, but other women as well, is certainly a wish well spent in my book!

While I am hopeful that this experience leads to something grander for me, in terms of modeling, I am also hopeful that I inspire women and influence them to believe that they are beautiful no matter what. I want girls out there who struggle with their bodies to know that they are not alone and it is possible to overcome and conquer.

How do you help empower those around you?

I am always giving girls compliments and reassuring them that they are enough and worth it. I let them know just how unique and special they are when they seem to be struggling with themselves. I always try to be that positive light in someone’s life.

What makes you #AerieREAL?

I am #AerieREAL because I have used my experience with cancer to shape me into who I am today. I have always tried to be someone who I am not and ever since my fight with cancer, I am finally myself and I can say my name proudly. I can finally say that I am 100% Aerie REAL.

What’s next for you?

Hmmm… Great question! Looking into the near future, I am going to continue my studies at West Liberty University and just keep moving forward! As far as after I graduate, I plan to travel and pursue a career in writing for a fashion magazine. I will continue to inspire those around me and tell my story. Most importantly, I can now tell people that I was able to model for Aerie and that I am proud to be a part of the Aerie fam!

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