RESIDES: North Canton
FIVE OF AVA’S FAVORITE THINGS: Grandma’s house, Ice skating really fast, Meeting new friends, Animals, pony riding and seeing the penguins at the zoo, Going on the bars at gymnastics class and playing tennis
THREE WORDS TO DESCRIBE AVA: Kind, Funny, Mischievous
“I want to be an animal doctor and a mermaid and ride Orcas”
Ava was born in Central America and is of Mayan descent. She was 5 months old when her parents, Gary and Mary Lynne Zahler, adopted her.
“When we brought her home, she was sick, malnourished, had esotropia (crossed eyes), her head was flat from being left laying down too much, she could not lift her head up or sit up on her own, and she was off-the-charts too small both in height and weight. One of our adoption workers told us that she might be a failure-to-thrive baby,” Mary Lynne said.
The family worked with the Oak Adoption Center at Akron Children’s Hospital, not knowing if Ava would be developmentally disabled or face surgeries for her eye condition.
“Fast forward to 2013, and Ava is a beautiful and completely healthy little girl now, who has come through so much early in her life,” her mom said. “Ava is truly an amazing little girl! She is vivacious, fearless, social and happy. She is very charming too — and will steal your heart in a second when you meet her.”
Ava works as a model and actress for the Taxi Talent Management Agency in Cleveland and takes acting classes at the Player’s Guild. She started ice skating as soon as she was able to walk and continues to take lessons and compete. Ava also takes ballet, gymnastics, swimming, tennis, cheerleading and horseback riding. Her grandmother is teaching her to play piano, and Ava attends religion classes at St. Paul Catholic Church in North Canton. She is a finalist in the Ohio National American Miss Pageant and she will be competing for the Ohio Princess title in Columbus.