Ms. Wheelchair Mississippi asks Alcorn for help with finding contestants for this year’s pageant
Reigning Ms. Wheelchair Mississippi titleholder Lauren Compere is requesting the assistance of Alcorn State University students, faculty, staff and alumni in finding contestants for the upcoming Ms. Wheelchair Mississippi Pageant.
The pageant, which will be held Saturday, March 12 at 6 p.m. at the Madison Central High School Auditorium in Madison, Mississippi, focuses on crowning the woman who will be the best communicator and advocate for individuals affected by a disability. The pageant is open to the public and will have a $5 admission fee. All proceeds will go to the Ms. Wheelchair Mississippi Organization.
The Ms. Wheelchair Mississippi Organization is accepting applications for the event. The contestant registration fee is $65. Contestants must be 21 or older and full time wheelchair users. There is no cut off age. Contestants must have lived in Mississippi for at least six consecutive months.
“The ultimate goal is to spread the word and find women who are in wheelchairs to participate in this fantastic advocacy opportunity,” said Compere, who also serves as the state coordinator for the Ms. Wheelchair Mississippi Foundation.
Compere, a Madison native who earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Mississippi College in 2015, was encouraged by her dear friend Rebecca Sentell to compete in last year’s pageant. Compere drew inspiration to compete from the lack of leadership among disabled females in Mississippi.
“I was inspired by the possibilities of the unknown. Participating in a state level pageant for ladies in wheelchairs was something I had never done and wanted to experience. Furthermore, I was inspired by the need for more disabled, female leaders. My role model is Joni Eareckson Tada. She is probably the most professional, classy and spiritual female wheelchair user I know. There is a deficit of these types of leaders in our state. I felt called to be the leader I wished to see.”
Compere was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was a 1-year-old. Although she has spent the majority of her life in a wheelchair, she hasn’t let her disability deter her from living life to the fullest. She continues to inspire those like her to chase their dreams.
“I would encourage those with disabilities to dream big! The sky is the limit. I would tell them to always pursue their goals and never say that they can’t fulfill their dreams. Too often, people have the misconception that individuals with disabilities cannot succeed. Therefore, I would urge those with disabilities to always do their best so that the world can be proven wrong.”
For more information about the pageant, contact Compere at 601-832-8927 or by email at [email protected].