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Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee

Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee 2016, Carly Pearson

Carly Pearson of Knoxville, TN is a proud mother of two children. She sustained a spinal cord injury in 2002, when she fell while fighting wildfires in Oregon as part of her work with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. She currently works as an independent distributor for Advocare International and a motivational speaker. Carly’s mission is to help people with disabilities live active and healthy lives.

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Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee 2015, Jenny Morton

Jenny Morton of Columbia, TN is a proud wife and mother. She is an advocate at heart! Growing up with Spina Bifida and a strong support network has taught this survivor that “Everyone has their own beautiful.” Jenny currently volunteers at Maury Regional Hospital and also at the school her son attends. She is part of the District Federal Program Advisory Committee and an appointed member of the Parent Partnership group. Jenny was also involved in Partners in Policy, which is a group which works to create positive change for individuals with disabilities.

As Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee, Jenny’s goals are to encourage acceptance and education for parents with children with disabilities, to raise self-esteem of children with disabilities, and to promote People First Language.

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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