Angela "A. J." Bray, 34, of Niagara Falls is running for school board.
The election is May 20.
In some ways, Bray is unique among candidates, of which there are seven seeking to fill two positions on the board.
For one, she is a disabled model. She spends her waking days primarily in a wheelchair but often in front of a camera.
She advertises on her website, www.ajbray.com, that she is "100 percent juicy" and writes, "I am interested in working with photographers who are looking to cross boundaries and show the vitality, sexiness, and vibrancy of individuals in the disabled community," adding she is "comfortable with mostly everything except full nudity, unless it is done very well."
Over the past few years, Bray has been featured in Entertainment Tonight, Forever Young Magazine, the Washington Times, The Wall Street Journal, New Mobility Magazine, Chloe Magazine (cover) and in training and sensitivity videos.
In September 2011, she was named one of 10 finalists for "Playboy's Miss Social" on Playboy.com. The same month she was featured in the "Here come the 'Would You' Girls" in Penthouse Magazine.
In addition to modeling, Bray says she is a "sexuality coach, writer, and author." Her work on issues of health, fashion and beauty has appeared in DisabilityNews.net.
She is also a writer of fiction, including erotica.
Concerning her aspiration to be a member of the Niagara Falls School Board, Bray says she has the time and the passion to dedicate and has been working as an advocate for children and their parents and as an expert on the impact of disabilities on children.
"I'm glad it is an unpaid position," she says of being a school board member. "In the unpaid position, the impetus is the cause. You have to really want to help students…. I want to help that badly, and do that much. I know going in, there is going to be a lot of late nights, a lot of small print. I'm ok with that. I'm more than ok with that. I'm ready for it."
She was disabled all her life, but excelled academically in school, particularly in languages, something she said she still pursues.
Bray said she speaks English, Spanish, French, and Russian "fluently."
"I am learning Korean," she said.
"When I was a kid and pled my case before the school board - about why I (a disabled child) wanted to learn another foreign language, or skip a grade… I could see they were not really listening…. I don't want to be the board member who yawns when some kid is explaining his heart's desire. I want to show kids, 'Hey, you can do this!'"
Bray said she is not running as a handicapped candidate.
"Every student has their own individual education program. (Not only the disabled but) even the ones who are skipping grades, even the ones trying to learn more than one language," she said. "I have been on both sides of pretty much every coin….
"I can serve as a direct model of what students can do, and they can see it in their everyday lives. At the school board 'that lady in the wheelchair' doesn't get there because she is in a wheelchair, but because parents voted her in."
Bray moved to Niagara Falls in 2007 with her husband, Matt, who works for Time Warner Cable.