Junior Miss Wheelchair Tennessee 2014, Kaylee Arrowood

At school, Kaylee is a cheerleader in the “sparkle” squad, and practices with the squad every week. They cheer at pep rallies and some of the school’s basketball games. Kaylee has been involved in the Girl Scouts since she was in the first grade. As part of the troop, Kaylee attends the local Christmas parade every year and volunteers with the Juvenile Diabetes walk and the Appalachian Service Project (ASP), which are two local charities. Kaylee and her family say she is beautiful, happy, loving, headstrong, and sweet.

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Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee 2014, Amanda Szidiropulosz

Amanda is an elementary school music teacher in Cleveland, Tennessee. Teaching music in public schools for 16 years is one of her greatest accomplishments. Amanda is now working toward her doctorate in teacher leadership. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a master’s degree in Technology in Teaching. Amanda has also won the Teacher of the Year award twice. She was born with spina bifida. As Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee, Amanda will work to encourage youth with disabilities to find their inner rock star. “Sometimes our biggest disabilities are the limits we give ourselves,” she says. Follow Amanda on facebook!

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Winners Crowned at Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee 2014 Annual Ceremony

Five wonderful individuals came to compete in Knoxville this weekend at the annual Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee crowning ceremony. Competing for the title of Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee, was Amanda Northrup of Cleveland, April Warren of Alcoa, and Amanda Szidiropulosz also of Cleveland. Kaylee Arrowood of Johnson City was the Junior Miss Wheelchair Tennessee applicant. Skylar Vaughn-Hisey of Ooltewah was the Little Miss Wheelchair Tennessee applicant. Before resting up for a busy Saturday, they were able to spend some time with their families at Market Square dining and shopping. The competition began early Saturday morning with the delivery of platform speeches. Each Ms. Wheelchair contestant gave a two to three minute speech on an issue that is important to her. Afterwards, each contestant was interviewed twice by a panel of judges. The judges were Jeri Wasco, state coordinator for Ms. Wheelchair D.C., Dr. Gene Hayes, professor of Recreation and Sports Studies at University of Tennessee – Knoxville, and Dennis Clark, IT service provider of Oak Ridge. The contestants answered fishbowl questions and gave their platform speeches for the audience before judges left to deliberate.

Café 4 at Market Square was awarded the Accessible Business Award. The Triple Star Award was given to Superior Van & Mobility of Knoxville for providing outstanding support to the community. The Advocacy Award was given to Amanda Szidiropulosz for promoting empowerment of individuals with disabilities and having the best understanding of the philosophy of the Independent Living Movement. Ms. Congeniality was presented to Amanda Northrup and was voted thus by her fellow contestants. April Warren was awarded both Best Speech and People’s Choice. Votes for People’s Choice were accepted until 5:30pm on Saturday.

Our winners this year are Amanda Szidiropulosz, Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee, Kaylee Arrowood, Junior Miss Wheelchair Tennessee, and Skylar Vaughn-Hisey, Little Miss Wheelchair Tennessee. First runner up for Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee was Amanda Northrup and second runner up was April Warren. Amanda Szidiropulosz will have the opportunity to travel to Long Beach, California this August to compete for the title of Ms. Wheelchair America 2015. It is a prestigious title and another opportunity to travel and speak on behalf of her community to promote awareness and positive change to the lives of all Americans.

Find Out Who Will Be the Next Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee 2014

On Saturday March 22nd, three incredible women will compete for the esteemed title of Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee 2014. These lovely ladies have been chosen for their presence in their communities and focus on advocacy for and with individuals with disabilities. Each contestant has been utilizing her time prior to the pageant to raise funds and spread awareness about her specific cause. This will prepare the ladies for a day of interviews, workshops, and finally, the crowning ceremony.

This year, we have chosen to hold our event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee. Guests will be able to attend the ceremony for free and should arrive around 4:30 pm to find seats near the front. T-shirts are on sale now for those who wish to wear them in support of their favorite contestant. The following women and young ladies will be competing for the title of Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee, Junior Miss Wheelchair Tennessee, and Little Miss Wheelchair Tennessee 2014. Amanda Northrup, of Cleveland is a mother and fitness enthusiast. She is focused on promoting health and fitness for individuals with disabilities. April Warren, of Alcoa studies medical coding. Her goal is to advocate for access to medical care for individuals with mobility disabilities. Amanda Szidiropulosz, also of Cleveland is an elementary music teacher at Charleston Elementary school system. She wants to create a “no limits” mindset for youths with disabilities. Kaylee Arrowood, of Johnson City is a Girl Scout, a member of her high school Sparkle squad, and does not like missing even one day of school. Kaylee wishes to educate individuals about what it is like to be an active youth with a disability. Skylar Vaughn-Hisey, of Ooltewah is a grandpa’s girl who loves sports and her music class at school. She is excited to make new friends and be involved with the Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee organization.

The woman chosen to be Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee will also have the opportunity to travel to Long Beach, California this August to compete for the title of Ms. Wheelchair America 2015. It is a prestigious title and another opportunity to travel and speak on behalf of her community to promote awareness and positive change to the lives of all Americans.