Ms. Wheelchair Pennsylvania 2001

Last Saturday a new Ms. Wheelchair America was crowned and it made me remember my time as Ms. Wheelchair Pennsylvania 2001. Although it was about twelve years ago, the time feels like it was yesterday. It was one of the most memorable times in my life. 

I feel old because when I was growing up, people treated those with disabilities so much more different. So when I saw a little blurb on a web site I worked for about the Ms. Wheelchair America Pageant, I jumped at the opportunity. I thought how wonderful it would be to represent women with disabilities all over the state of Pennsylvania. 

I did my fair share of speaking in college and high school. I love educating people on just about anything. I'd love the chance to educate on a larger scale. 

I filled out all the necessary paperwork and turned it in. When it came closer to the date, my dad and I picked out a dress. We got it at Neiman Marcus and I fell in love with it. It was perfect. 

The pageant was a two day event.  It was beautiful and exciting.  My sister helped me for the weekend.  I enjoyed the workshops and was worried about the judging questions, but all went well. I remember one question was if you could make a billboard what would it say. I said, "a mirror and it would say be yourself!"

I remember feeling extremely nervous when I presented my speech on the importance of education. I competed against two accomplished women who I was certain I'd lose too. I was fresh out of college full of hope and they were full of experiences. 

I'll never know why they choose me in 2000 but the memories will last forever. I'll take the experiences with me whenever I do speeches and keep growing. 

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