Ms. Wheelchair CO 2010
I had the opportunity to participate in Ms. Wheelchair CO in April of 2010. I had been watching it for a few years, and I never thought it was something I would do. My friend kept saying that I would be a good contestant. I had the idea that it was similar to miss America or other pageants, but it's not. Ms. Wheelchair is all about how you view your disability and promotes wheelchair users to still have a life. I didn't expect or imagine that I would win because I have a hard time speaking, but I won. I was very honored.
During my year, I went to different events, and sometimes I gave speeches on my platform. My platform was to give others a better understanding of people with disabilities, especially children. I believe they deserve an education just like everyone else. I don't believe that just because you are in a chair, your mind doesn't work. Give everyone an equal opportunity in school and in life.
Being involved in Ms. Wheelchair helped me view myself differently. It gave me the confidence I needed to help others through my writing. During nationals, we learned how to advocate for ourselves and others so we would be able to influence other wheelchair users and people who became disabled.There was a point when I experienced some technical difficulties. I had a recorded speech prepared on my talker. I accidentally clicked the wrong speech as they were right next to each other. I had somebody take the talker away. I didn't really like it anyway because it's harder to use than simply talking. Because of the confidence I gained, I just used my own voice. It was scary at first, but I felt awesome after I was done speaking. In fact, the whole audience clapped when I was done. I ended up getting an award for the week for being Miss Congeniality!