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Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee

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.

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Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee 2013 – Bliss Welch

Bliss in pink dress wearing crown and sash

Bliss has Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy 2B and describes herself as Determined, Independent, Loyal, Resilient, and Resourceful. Her goal as Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee will be to shift the focus from what people with disabilities cannot do to what we CAN do and to raise awareness of the Abilities of those with disabilities.

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Bliss sitting behind desk in casual clothing

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Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee 2012 – Jean-Marie Lawrence

Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee 2012 Jean-Marie Lawrence with crown and sash
Jean-Marie is a 25 year-old graduate student at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga working on her Masters in Public Administration: Local Government. She currently has a BS in Political Science: Legal Studies from the same school. Jean-Marie, who was diagnosed with Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy in 1993, is the co-developer of transition programming for students with disabilities at UTC. Her passion and purpose is advocating and creating policy for people with disabilities. Jean-Marie wants to raise awareness to the issues of fixed route public transportation.

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