Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ms. Wheelchair America Contest 2012

I got home from Grand Rapids Michigan on Sunday where I was competing in the Ms. Wheelchair America contest. It was a very long and exhausting week but definitely worth it. I learned my limits but also how far I can push myself. The days were packed with activities and workshops along with judging sessions and speeches. Here are a few highlights from the week. I arrived on Monday after a first ever plane ride since my accident. We got to the hotel and all settled in then had dinner that night. I met a lot of the contestants and learned about my upcoming week.

Tuesday was a fun day. Although it started off a little rocky for me. The power went out in the whole city at 5 AM that morning. I hadn't quite prepared for something like that. Because of it, I didn't get a chance to meet with everyone else at the Ford Museum for a tour. I did catch up with everybody during a scavenger hunt of the city. Unfortunately, there was a heat index warning and I got heat exhaustion afterwards. That was also the time that there was a picnic lunch outside the museum. We were supposed to have swing dancing on the town that evening but it ended up raining so it was canceled.

All ready for the day in my MWA T-shirt!
Lining up on the bridge over Grand River for a group photo

The judging began on Wednesday. Workshops also started and in between that there were five-minute question and answer sessions. Dinner was on the town that night and then we went to a concert in the middle of the city.

At the Blues on the Town concert in the middle of Grand Rapids, Michigan

Great music!

On Thursday the workshops and judging continued. The sessions were twice as long with twice as many questions. That night we all watched the documentary "Defining Beauty" which was about the Ms. Wheelchair America contest in 2010.

Judging resumes

We had judging and workshops again on Friday. It was the day of my third and final interview session with the judges. That night we all gave our speeches on our platform and ate dinner together.

All done up on speech night with my sister, Kristen

Saturday was the big crowning. We had a break from activities during the day and were able to just hang out. In the afternoon I slipped into my gown and then got my hair and makeup done. That evening we all lined up on the stage and waited for them to call the top five. I was very excited when I heard my name called to be in it! We each answered two questions from a judge (one serious and one lighthearted) and then they tallied up the votes. I ended up getting fourth runner up! That means I was number 5/26 contestants; a huge accomplishment in my book. I was so excited and proud.

Getting beautified

Me and Ms. Wheelchair America 2011, Alex

The top five! From left to right: third runner-up-Monica, Ms. Wheelchair Maine 2011; second runner-up-Luticha, Ms. Wheelchair New York 2011; winner-Josie, Ms. Wheelchair Pennsylvania 2011; first runner-up-Sharina, Ms. Wheelchair Michigan 2011; fifth runner-up-Jenni, Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota 2011

We had a farewell breakfast Sunday morning and then said our goodbyes. We left Grand Rapids and I was very relieved once we landed. It definitely felt good to be home.

I've been spending the last couple of days adjusting. I will write more posts about individual activities and things along with some good stories. Just wanted to give you a lowdown of my amazing week. Even though I didn't come home with the title, I still have the rest of my reign as Ms. wheelchair Minnesota. I promise I will do my state proud!

If you have questions, please comment and ask them. I would love to answer them.



Steph said...

JENNI! I've been waiting for this post all week! (Seriously checking daily). So awesome, gave me goosebumps. I am incredibly proud of you Jen. For the 50-millionth time, you are my hero. :)

PS. I am in Wisconsin this weekend but would love to get together next week if you're up to it.



Zara k said...

I got to do it last year. its was so great! I'm happy for you.

Ms, wheelchair Co.2010

Anonymous said...


You have already done your state proud. Congratulations from everyone here at the Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services - MAMES!

Matthew Smith said...

How did the journey go? I have heard quite a number of stories of people with ventilators being turned off flights because the pilot got the vapours.

I thought it odd that they have the Ms Wheelchair America contest so soon after the state contests; I would have thought they would have given the contestants time to prove themselves as Ms Wheelchair for their states before letting them run for the national contest.

Anonymous said...

What a great week! Thanks for the update. You make us all proud. God Bless you and may you have a great year as Miss Wheelchair Minnesota!

Anonymous said...

Jenni, you definitely have the most beautiful and charming smile, and if this smile reflects your character, you should have won, according to me.

Anonymous said...

What was your most memorable moment of the entire event?

Jenni said...

Thanks to everybody!

A lot of the state contests were more towards the beginning of the year, mine just happened to be in April because my coordinator signed up to do it and put it all together in like 10 weeks. There was one that was even last October, just depends on the state. Also, they don't judge on the things you've been doing as a state title holder.

My most memorable moment of the week was being called in the top five. Although, everything I did was memorable including the flight, judging sessions and meeting all the wonderful people.

Anonymous said...

It was so nice hanging out with you during the pageant! I told you they were going to call your name :-) I just knew it! You did a great job and next time I am in your state I will make sure to meet up. Talk to you soon and keep up the blogging because you are good at it!

Sharina Jones
Ms. Wheelchair Michigan

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Jenni!! You are an awesome representative for Minnesota.