In 2007, Shelly Loose was crowned Ms. Wheelchair Michigan, and competed in the national Ms. Wheelchair America pageant where her life was changed forever. Shelly went into the pageant with her mind set on winning, and even though she didn’t leave with the crown, she did meet contestants who became some of her best friends. A decade later, Shelly is the President of Ms. Wheelchair America and she is working towards expanding the pageant to include representatives from all 50 states.
In addition to being President of Ms. Wheelchair America, Shelly is also the state coordinator for Michigan. There are currently 28 states in the US that have annual pageants, but that doesn’t rule out anyone from the remaining states from competing. Independent delegates are able to write an essay explaining their platform for states that do not have an official pageant. The national board reads these submissions and crowns one of the girls as Ms. Wheelchair for their state, and they are invited to participate in the Ms. Wheelchair America pageant. The independent delegate that is selected becomes the state coordinator for the next year and is in charge of organizing and coordinating their state’s pageant moving forward.