I can officially no longer call myself the reigning Ms. Wheelchair USA – a few weekends ago, I passed on the crown to the new winner, Brittany Hawley.
I wrote a post here about my year with the crown. It was a really great, exciting year, and an experience I never imagined that I would have. But when I’m asked if I’m sad to be giving up the crown, my answer is an easy no. I’m excited for someone else to have the chance to experience it! And while the crown may be gone, the work that I’ve been doing is just getting started. My time as Ms. Wheelchair USA was the perfect springboard for my work, and I’m looking forward to continuing it.
The other nice thing about going back to the pageant but not competing is that the pressure is off! It was really fun to go and meet all the woman and get to spend time with them without having to be nervous about my interviews or my speech or remembering what to do on stage for each different section of the pageant. I’m so glad to have met them, and will definitely be keeping in touch with them and following along with the great things that I’m sure they’ll be doing.
I also got to meet the host of Disabilities Redefined in person, because he was one of this year’s judges (I was on his YouTube show, you can watch it here). It’s always fun to meet people in “real life” who I’ve previously only known through the internet, and especially cool in this case because he learned about the pageant through me!
Even though my time with the crown is over, I still am so grateful to be part of what feels like a “club.”