Wednesday, September 11, 2013

THE MISS AMAZING PAGEANT

I saw this video on The Today Show.  http://www.today.com/news/miss-amazing-pageant-puts-girls-disabilities-first-8C11101506  It made me cry.  I saw young girls and woman with disabilities competing in a beauty pageant.  As the contestants walked and rolled across the stage,. they were radiant not only in  beauty, but in confidence as well.

The pageant was started by Jordan Somer, who had been in pageants herself when she was younger. Competing in pageants taught her self confidence and commitment.  She learned that success wasn't about coming in first, but rather, about taking control over who she would become.  Ms Somer has also worked with the Special Olympics where she saw first hand the determination and commitment of the athletes.  

Miss Somer wanted to share the pageant experience with girls who had disabilities. The first Miss Amazing Pageant was held in Nebraska in 2007.  The only requirement is that contestants give five cans of food. The first job of the pageant division winners is to distribute the cans of food to homeless shelters.  It's a way for the girls to be involved in their community and to learn about the importance of helping others and giving back.

The pageant builds self-confidence and self esteem and promotes inclusion of girls with disabilities in their community. Through the encouragement and support of the pageant organization, the girls strive to reach their full potential, to be the best that they can be in life.    Girls in the pageant learn they can set goals and achieve them. When I was watching the video I saw how proud and happy the contests were. They knew that they were just as good as anyone else.

I want to applaud Jordan Sommer for creating The Miss Amazing Pageant. I would have given anything, to have had  an organization like hers available to me  when I was growing up. (I received very few positive messages at the school I attended.) A place that would have helped me overcome my issues with low self esteem.  A place that would have encouraged me to set goals because through hard work and determination I could attain them.  A place where people knew I deserved the opportunity to reach my full potential in life .A place that let me know I was worth it.