In 2011, I had the honor of being crowned Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota. This amazing experience gave me more confidence as a speaker and person. I also got the chance to inspire others by speaking to all ages and attending events with my crown and sash. I was able to take my first plane ride since my accident to Grand Rapids, Michigan for the national competition. I won 4th runner-up out of 26 contestants from various states. Read more
The mission of the Ms. Wheelchair America Program Inc. is to provide an opportunity for women of achievement who utilize wheelchairs to successfully educate and advocate for individuals with disabilities. This is an experience that can help them achieve their goals and show others they are the person they know themselves to be. The purpose of the Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota Pageant is to focus public attention on the abilities and accomplishments since the onset of disability of today’s women. Read more
Jenni Taylor is a radiantly positive woman who is also a C1-C2 vent dependent quadriplegic, artist, college student, motivational speaker and former Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota. She was injured in a car accident at the age of 16. We were honored to film her for our “Life After SCI” video series! Here is a sneak peek of what Jenni shared with us about her life. Read more
Being a C-1 C-2 quadriplegic paralyzed from the neck down and on a ventilator can be challenging at times. Despite my disability I strive to find ways to be positive, live life to its fullest, overcome obstacles, help people and most of all educate others. I’ve always loved teaching and helping people, but after my car accident November 1, 2002 it became prevalent that this is what I wanted to do the rest of my life.
In 2006 I started motivational speaking; my first engagement was to a class of about 30 high school students. Since then, I’ve been telling my story to anyone and everyone I meet. I have had the privilege to speak at over 20 different engagements to a variety of populations being able to change my story and message for each. This includes speaking to various high schools about destructive driving, educating children at elementary schools about people with disabilities, and talking to the injured about staying positive. My favorite (and most impactful) was a 15 min. speech to about 1200 high school students and teachers after a mock car crash just before prom.
When I received an e-mail mid-March about the Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota 2011 contest, I immediately felt the need to fill out an application. I thought to myself, “what an opportunity to show others the abilities of people with disabilities” and “this would be the biggest way I could educate others about people in similar situations as me.” Read more
Forget diversity events. Beauty pageants are where it’s at. People are quick to criticize these when-you-really-think-about-it quite bizarre faux royalty competitions, and like to say they’re unhealthy, promote unnecessary competition, and are an overdone helping of ego-centric pomp and circumstance. But I respectfully disagree.
Are we supposed to believe someone would rather spend their life walking on a deserted island with monsters & polar bears & black smoke than wheeling in America with family & friends & technology & food?
If you are watching Lost then you know there is no shortage of mysteries. But as someone living with a spinal cord injury, I would have to say one of the biggest mysteries to me is why John Locke made the decision to remain on the island in the first place. I know that as the seasons went on we learned that he feels it is his mission in life to be the leader of this island, but as far as viewers and Locke himself were concerned in the first few seasons, the only advantage of that island was that he was miraculously cured of any injury to his spine.
Lately, with each episode a few more questions are being answered, but still, I can’t help but remember the day a few seasons back when Locke contemplated going back to the states and getting in that wheelchair, and he was horrified. Now if he were stuck in the wheelchair on the island, I can see how that would be even more of a nightmare. Sand and wheels don’t usually mix, and I doubt he’d be trekking through the forests in his old fashioned hospital style ride.
If someone offered me the chance to walk again, but the catch was that I had to go to a scary island, never to be seen again, I’d have to pass. Unless Sawyer was going to be there…Then maybe I’d have to consider it…