Ms. Wheelchair Kansas named first runner-up at national competition – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Ms. Wheelchair Kansas named first runner-up at national competition

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – 2023 Ms. Wheelchair Kansas 2023, Daija Coleman, recently attended the Ms. Wheelchair America event, where she was named as first runner-up for the national title. Coleman joined  17 other women vying for the opportunity to represent women who are wheelchair mobile in the United States.

Ms. Wheelchair America 2024 first runner-up, Daija Coleman, of Atchison, Kan.

The annual event was held Aug. 28-Sept. 3, 2023, hosted in Grand Rapids, Mich., at the Amway Grand Plaza. After an intense week of competition, networking, and empowerment, Coleman came away with the honor of being named first runner up in the pageant. She also gained memories, new leadership and advocacy tools, and a new sisterhood from across the nation.

Coleman, of Atchison, Kan., is the 19th woman to represent Kansas at the national competition since the creation of the Ms. Wheelchair Kansas organization in 2004. Coleman was crowned Ms. Wheelchair Kansas in March of 2023. Since receiving her title, she has worked to fulfill the Ms. Wheelchair Kansas mission, which is to educate, advocate, and empower all people on a state level. She has traveled and met Kansans of all ages, speaking to groups and participating in local events.

While at the national event, Coleman participated in two personal interview sessions, in which she was scored based on her accomplishments, self-perception, communication, and projection skills. She also gave a speech on her chosen platform, “Why Not Us? Why Not Now? Be an Advocate in Your Community,” and heard from speakers on a variety of topics related to leadership and advocacy.

The week culminated in the crowning ceremony, Sept. 2, when Chandra Smith, of Maryland, was named Ms. Wheelchair America 2024. The top four contestants were announced: First runner-up, Daija Coleman; second runner-up, Annie Heathcote, Wisconsin; third runner-up, Domonique Howell, Pennsylvania; and fourth runner-up, Cassie Riddick, Arkansas. As first runner up, Coleman will step in to assume the duties of Ms. Wheelchair America if Smith is unable to do so or needs support from the runner-up.

Coleman will continue to fulfill the Ms. Wheelchair Kansas mission in the coming months and is available for speaking engagements and appearances. For more information, contact Carrie Greenwood, President/CEO, at 785-633-7255, email, or see

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