“I mean, it’s still fresh," said Miss Wheelchair Idaho Kristin Blevins. "It’s been a week, and you know word of mouth is spreading and people are kind of recognizing me in the store.”
Last week, she was crowned the first Miss Wheelchair of Idaho.
“When I was in rehab, I was bored," said Blevins. "And so my therapist was like, maybe you should get into it and see if there’s wheelchair modeling.”
And that’s when she found Miss Wheelchair America.
“I really loved that it wasn’t about all the make-up and you know, the glitz and the glamour," said Blevins. "It was actually making a difference in your community.”
Kristin has been an advocate for people here on the Palouse ever since a tragic car accident severed her spinal chord. She said that being Miss Wheelchair of Idaho gives her a chance to be an advocate for people across the entire state.”
“She’s got some self-confidence, she’s got a good head on her shoulders,” said Disability Action Center CEO Mark Leeper.
Leeper said that Kristen helps them reach out to younger people with disabilities.
“I mean she’s been a go-getter from day one, she wants to make a difference,” said Leeper.
Now that she has her crown, Kristen plans on traveling to schools to share her story, and to spread her message. And she’s hoping to inspire more than just the disabled.
“My message is that you can take bad situations, and you have two options," said Blevins. "You can sit there and feel sorry for yourself, or you can live your life as a survivor.”
Kristin seems ready to take on the world, but she said before anything else, she’s a mother.
“When she grows up, she’s going to look back and say, ‘Well my mom was always there," said Blevins. "She may not have been able to participate, but she always found a way to make sure I didn’t miss out on anything.’”
Kristin will be traveling to Texas in July to compete in the national Miss Wheelchair pageant. She will also spend the year spreading the word about the program and looking for a Miss Wheelchair of Idaho for 2014.