Ooltewah High School Visit

Last Tuesday, April 24, 2012, I had the opportunity to visit Ooltewah High School. I spoke to the Junior class for their College Access Retreat. The theme was College: Just Do It! I was able to share with them my college experience and the struggles that come along with becoming an adult. I also shared obstacles I have encountered with my disability and how they have shaped how I look at challenges (like college) and being independent. The students were very welcoming and asked some awesome questions- especially about Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee. They wanted to know more about the organization and were motivated to step out into the world and take a chance or two. It was so much fun and I truly enjoyed spending the day with them!


Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee 2012 Jean-Marie Lawrence on Three Plus You on WRCB

2012 MWT Pageant – University of Tennessee

Special thanks to Ben Ozburn for using us in his final project.

2012 MWT Pageant Featured on Fox 43

Ms. Wheelchair TN Pageant

The Ms. Wheelchair TN Pageant was one of the greatest experiences of 2012! The connections that have been made in just one day will empower all of those who attended to stand strong as advocates for people with disabilities. The friendships forged go deeper than any I have made in so short a time. In only a few hours, I met people who I believe will change the world in countless ways. The questions posed to me throughout the day and the workshops I had the opportunity to attend have instilled an even greater desire to break down the barriers faced by people with disabilities. Throughout the next year as Ms. Wheelchair TN, I intend to work diligently to raise awareness of equality for people with disabilities, promoting a people first culture, and ensuring that people with disabilities of every age know that they are important, they have rights, and they can succeed. I will do my part to encourage girls and women using wheelchairs to step up and take part in something that has given me an outlet to let my voice be heard as a disability advocate: The Ms. Wheelchair TN Pageant. I look forward to all the new experiences I will encounter in August at the Ms. Wheelchair America Pageant in Rhode Island. Thank you to everyone who volunteered, donated, supported, and competed in the pageant. You are all strong advocates for people with disabilities. I am proud to be a part of such a large family of advocates. Ms. Wheelchair TN is a title I will not take lightly and hope I can do it the honor it deserves. Thank you!

Chattanooga Woman Crowned Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee 2012

April 9, 2012, Knoxville, Tennessee

Jean-Marie Lawrence of Chattanooga was crowned Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee 2012 on April 7, 2012 at Cherokee Mills in Knoxville. Lawrence is a 25 year-old graduate student at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga working on her Master’s in Public Administration. She was diagnosed with Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy in 1993. Lawrence is the co-developer of transition programming for students with disabilities at UT Chattanooga. Her passion and purpose is advocating and creating policy for people with disabilities. Lawrence wants to raise awareness to the issues of fixed route public transportation. Lawrence will go on to compete in the national competition in Rhode Island August 6th-12th.

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