She went to Internationals as your Illinois Jr. Princess ...
September 4, 2014
Enter our IJM Photo Contest
September 2, 2014
Fashion Market Spring Show sees an IL IJM queen on their runway!
April 24, 2015
"The Sparkle Pageant"
May 17, 2015
Grace Myler, our Midwest Jr. Teen created this very special event that took place on April 26th. She invited some fellow pageant friends to help her in creating this awesome day! Her mom and sister provided the custom sashes and donated crowns were given to the 4 winners for the the Miss Sparkle Pageant. Grace would like to tell you more about her personal connection to this event in her own words...
A special pageant was held for the 4 women who live in our home—each one has some degree of Intellectual Disability. Due to some anxiety issues, participating in a large pageant was just not feasible. So, we planned a smaller pageant where everyone received a crown and sash after walking across a makeshift stage and introducing themselves. The afternoon was complete after a fun dance party and cupcakes.The great thing about this day was that the ladies felt beautiful. My mom did their hair and I served as a make-up artist. They put on their favorite dress (or not) and got to wear a crown. They felt special! We also had everyone in attendance bring food for our local food shelf. It was important that we included this into the “pageant” because after all—that’s what queens do—they give back! The food donated was delivered the following week. The pageant, which was more like a party, was held at a local senior living complex. A few residents got in on the celebration by cheering for our beautiful contestants and enjoying some refreshments.
Many would be surprised to learn that my family is anything but “typical”. Seven years ago my parents quit their corporate jobs and made a complete change by opening our home and lives to 4 adults with special needs. I was 6 years old at the time, and I can barely remember what life was like before my family doubled in size. Sharing my home and parents with four women with varying degrees of Intellectual Disabilities has given me a completely different outlook on life. It has also drastically changed the dynamics of your family. But all these changes have been very good. I wouldn’t change a thing! I’m much more patient and accepting of others. Yes, our family might receive some curious looks as we all travel around Universal Studios or the mall, and we may need an extra long table whenever we go out to dinner. But, I have four very special women in my life who love me unconditionally and are always cheering me on. They may not be able to attend all of my pageants, but they will watch if it live streams or we make it a movie night and watch my video. That’s why I wanted to do something special for them, because they are always supporting me! This was my opportunity to give back and create a very special pageant experience for them. Complete with cupcakes and a dance party!