Augustana to Host Pageant for Women with Disabilities

Miss Amazing

South Dakota is hosting its first-ever Miss Amazing Pageant on Augustana’s campus, Saturday, May 9.

Women have competed in Miss Amazing Pageants since 2007 when the organization got its start in Nebraska by Jordan Somer, a pageant girl herself, who wanted to give an opportunity to women in her community with disabilities to reach their full potential.

After its first year in Nebraska, the competition has spread across the nation from Alaska to New York and now South Dakota.

The mission of Miss Amazing Inc. is to provide opportunities for girls and women with disabilities to build self-confidence in a supportive environment.

Hosting the event on Augustana’s campus provides an opportunity for students in the Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC) organization to get involved.

Junior Becca Worden (Sioux Falls), a member of SCEC, is the co-assistant director, along with Alexis Rupp, 2013 Miss Teen South Dakota USA, for this event. They’re working with the state director, Debra Parker, to make the first South Dakota Miss Amazing Pageant a success.

Volunteers include Augustana Viking football players who will be right-hand men for pageant contestants as they participate in the evening wear competition. The participants will also be paired with volunteer buddies to help throughout the day.

“It’s an important opportunity for girls with different challenges in life to do something as major as a pageant where they could compete at the national level,” Worden said. “It’s great that they will be seen for their abilities and not their disabilities.”

Applications to enter the pageant will be accepted until Thursday, May 7.

Interviews will be conducted earlier in the day and will be  judged by special education teachers from the area. In addition to participating in the pageant, contestants will be joined by five South Dakota pageant queens who will present the winners with their crowns and pose for photo opportunities.

The public portion of the pageant begins at 5 p.m. in the Edith Mortenson Theatre with evening wear and optional talent portions of the competition. Tickets are $5 with part of the proceeds going to fund the winner’s trip to the national competition.

This year’s national Miss Amazing competition is in Los Angeles and is partnered with the Special Olympics World Games.