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Your UCP: National October 13, 2003
Health & Wellness

Women with Disabilities

Bowie Resident to Wear Ms. Wheelchair Maryland 2003 Crown

Photo of Jennifer Rechsteiner, the new Ms. Wheelchair MarylandRockville, Maryland, November 17, 2002 - Jennifer Rechsteiner of Bowie, Maryland is the new Ms. Wheelchair Maryland. She accepted the crown from her predecessor, Nadia Massuda of Baltimore, Sunday evening during an elegant dinner Gala at the DoubleTree Hotel in Rockville, Maryland. Rechsteiner's platform throughout her reign will be to impress upon the business community how full compliance with the accessibility standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) benefits far more than just the disability community. Next July, Ms. Rechsteiner will compete for the title of Ms. Wheelchair America when the national pageant is held in Des Moines, Iowa.

Ms. Rechsteiner is a long-time Bowie resident and is the fourth resident of Bowie to hold the title in the past twelve years. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Towson State University and a Masters of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from Bowie, State University. She works full-time for the U.S. Coast Guard as the Transition/Relocation Program Manager and is married to her husband, Marc and is the mother of two daughters, Caitlin, age 6 and Calli, age 3.

Congratulations also to First Runner-Up, Juliette Rizzo of Rockville, Maryland. Ms. Rizzo holds a Master of Journalism degree, emphasizing public relations, and a minor in rehabilitation studies from the University of North Texas, a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from Texas A&M University, and is a graduate of Partners in Policymaking, a competency-based national leadership and training program for adults with developmental disabilities. She is the Director of Communication and Media Support Services in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the U.S. Department of Education. Ms. Rizzo's platform is the benefits to employers of providing personal assistance services in the workplace to employees with disabilities. Both Rechsteiner and Rizzo pledge to work as a team to cover the state of Maryland, to implement their platforms, deliver their message of empowerment to all individuals with disabilities, and to recruit contestants for the 2004 Ms. Wheelchair Maryland competition.

Joining in the festivities were Christen Yarbrough, Junior Miss Wheelchair Maryland 2002, two former titleholder, Karen Johnsen and Diana Stewart, both of Bowie, and the reigning Ms. Wheelchair America 2003, Catherine Gugala. Other Contestants included: First Runner-Up, Juliette Rizzo of Rockville, Marlene Hendler of Catonsville, Keona Jackson of Gaithersburg, and Joy Limo of Glynn Oak.

Ms. Wheelchair Maryland organization does NOT emphasize physical beauty. It is a sisterhood of dynamic women who are dedicated to promoting disability awareness, education, and empowerment. Each year the Ms. Wheelchair Maryland organization holds a competition to select a spokesperson whose responsibility it is to speak to the general public about her life as a person with a disability, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and a platform issue of her choosing. Moreover, Ms. Wheelchair Maryland competes nationally with other state titleholders in the annual Ms. Wheelchair America Pageant.

If you would like to interview Ms. Wheelchair Maryland, have her speak to your organization or group, or if you would like more information on becoming a contestant, please call (301) 657-3283 or e-mail robert@dateable.org.

Contact:

Robert Watson, State Coordinator
Ms. Wheelchair Maryland
Ph: 301-657-3283
Fax: 301-657-4327
E-mail: robert@dateable.org

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