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7's HERO: Caldwell teen wins National Miss Voice for Autism title in Alabama

Kylie Welch, 17, will represent the autism community, and spread awareness and acceptance, all over the country in 2023.

CALDWELL, Idaho — 17-year-old Kylie Welch of Caldwell is the proud titleholder of Miss Teen Idaho Voice for Autism. She loves to promote awareness and acceptance, and show people all the amazing things that people with autism can do. Kylie rides horses, she volunteers in her community and she loves to hang out with her family. 

The national Miss National Teen Voice for Autism competition was held in December in Alabama. Kylie wanted to compete, but it was going to be expensive to get there. Her family started a Go Fund Me to help raise money for the trip. People from our community donated, and her parents also pitched in. They were able to make the trip at the end of the month. 

Guess what? She won the national title! Kylie is now National Miss Voice for Autism, and she has a big year ahead of her. 

"It feels awesome," said Kylie. "This title means so much to me because I have the opportunity to meet new people and share autism awareness not only locally but nationally across the United States!"  

Kylie's family is so proud of her, and her mom posts about her journey on Facebook

"Honestly, what I have been feeling is that I am beyond proud. I am blessed to call her my daughter," said Debbie Welch. "Just watching her grow and become this confident young woman who is spreading the word and being that light and shining incredibly bright!"  

Kylie has a message for all of us. 

"You can be beautiful and amazing no matter the obstacle," Kylie said with a smile. "No matter what challenges you are facing, you are loved."  

Her mom is so proud of that message, because it translates to all communities. 

"To know that she sees that she is beautiful and amazing whether she is in a crown or not," said Debbie. "We are so happy to have this opportunity along with her and for her to be able to experience this with her."

Kylie is ready for her year as the national title holder, spreading awareness, and inspiring people all over the country. 

"I would like to thank everyone for your love and support on this journey, while I continue to represent the US as your 2023 National Miss Voice for Autism. There is a voice out there for autism awareness," Kylie said. 

Kylie will reign throughout 2023, and will be traveling quite a bit to speak and appear at events. Her family has started a Go Fund Me to help with her traveling expenses. 

Update: Caldwell Mayor Jarom Wagoner plans to honor Kylie Monday, Jan. 16, at Caldwell City Hall!

The following statement is from a news released issued by the City of Caldwell: "Kylie is ready for her year as national title holder, spreading awareness, and inspiring people all over the country, and Mayor Wagoner will be honoring her for her efforts."

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