Miss Iowa Inspires

Miss Iowa Inspires

Nicole Kelly is a beautiful girl with wavy blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. No one would be surprised to see this Iowa sweetheart crowned on the Miss Iowa stage if it wasn’t for one thing: her missing left forearm. The 23 year old University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate was born without her left forearm, and has been dealing with this disability ever since. Regardless of the stares she got from people, she was determined not to let it get in the way of her dream.

“As I grew up I learned to counterbalance the initial stares I received from people with an outgoing personality that would not give into ‘no,’” she explained on the Iowa pageant site. “This means that I tried everything. From baseball, to dance, to diving – there is nothing I would not try. I found my passion within a world where I was giving people permission to stare: the stage.”

Now, as she moves onward to the prestigious Miss America pageant, Nicole is being given the unique opportunity to speak about her disability with an audience of millions. She is certainly the perfect spokesperson for her chosen charitable platform, helping people to overcome disabilities.

Nicole’s win is especially noteworthy coming on the heels of Alexis Wineman’s participation in the Miss America pageant this year. Alexis was the first autistic woman to compete for the title. Now, with Nicole, a trend toward greater diversity and acceptance is being seen in the contestants.

We look forward to seeing Nicole compete, and hope that children with disabilities nationwide can find inspiration in her perseverance and unwavering commitment to her goals in the face of her hardship.