elcome to the 16th Annual Miss You Can Do It Pageant, a national non-profit pageant created just for girls and women with special needs and challenges and a whole new world that opens just one night a year. A world where wishing on stars and dreaming big is an every day event, and a world where everyone has an equal opportunity. It’s a world where there are no need for special education classes because all you have to do is ask for help and you’ve got it, a world where every dream has the possibility of becoming a reality. We have come quite a long way since our first pageant in 2004, and those who witnessed the beginning could not have possibly anticipated the incredible growth the Miss You Can Do It Pageant has achieved. This competition puts its contestants on a memorable path, this experience leaves them with great memories, strong friendships, and a defining sense of accomplishment. This surreal night is a once in a lifetime experience! As former Miss America, Shirley Barret has taught me, “accomplishment begins with two words: ‘I’ll try’.” Thanks to those two words, I had the strength and courage to try.
Previously, I competed in the 2008 Miss Iowa USA Pageant. I was told that “I couldn’t” and that “I shouldn’t”, but I said “I’ll try”. I was not only the first contestant to enter the Miss Iowa USA pageant with a challenge, I was also the first contestant with a challenge to even win the Miss Iowa USA pageant. I made history that year being the first ever contestant with a challenge to compete in the Miss USA Pageant. I had the time of my life, and can honestly say I am living my dream! It all happened thanks to those two little words: “I’ll try!”. I was born with Cerebral Palsy, a condition that could have meant a life of difficulties and obstacles, but that is not the case. I am living proof that reaching for the stars can make all the difference in the world. I created this magical event as a stepping stone for girls and women with special needs and challenges, so that they too can realize, if you truly believe in yourself, ANY DREAM CAN COME TRUE! And they will leave this pageant with an abundance of self confidence that will live far past this magical evening.