Ms. California Wheelchair America was one of my biggest inspiration to see all the amazing ladies compete for such a title as Ms. California Wheelchair America and ultimately having the opportunity to go and compete at Ms. Wheelchair America 2017! I attended that pageant last year as a vendor and met so many wonderful people, but most importantly, I was there to support one of my fabulous and a favorite person in pageantry, Jennifer Kumyiama. She asked me to be a judge this year, and without hesitation I said YES!
Ms. California wheelchair had 3 judges, I was able to meet two other judges. Dr. Robert Record is a clinical forensic nuero-psychologist and a professor at Sacramento State University. Tess Holliday is the first full figure model to be published in various magazines, she was even featured in Vogue. At first, I didn’t know who Tess was. I only saw Tess as a sweet lady who could perk up any room. Her fame was not what caught my eye, Tess was a fabulous lady who has a great heart and is a great role model for people. I am a huge fan of her and her humbleness. Tess has my full support for whatever she does in her life. I enjoyed my day with Dr. Record and Tess.
This pageant was held in Long Beach, California over MLK weekend. I thought it was a great weekend to hold this pageant because it’s all about inspiring people and each other. I was overly impressed with 3 ladies competing. Each of these ladies held unique platforms which totally fascinated me. They all had a strong voice on disabilities that made us think about how great it impacts the community. I was in awe of how much passion, determination, and the strong voice of wanting to educate others. It was nice to see Dr. Alette again, the last time, I saw her was at the grand opening party for PageantRocks last March. I have been watching Dr. Alette closely through social media and so proud of her for what she’s been doing! She is one perfect example of what we need in this world to make it a better place by voicing education on disabilities.
This pageant is extra special and I carry it close to my heart because I am deaf and I can relate to some of their stories. I want to voice that disability is not something that people should see differently. We all want to be treated the same as others. I was watching the Grammy’s award the other night and loved it when Steve Wonder said, “We need to make every single thing accessible to every single person with a disability.” That inspires me to show that we can do exactly the same thing as other people without disabilities can.
I am looking forward to seeing what’s in store for Kathleen Barajas. I know it will be one spectacular year for her. Maybe she can be the next back to back to California to win Ms. Wheelchair America 2017!