FLAT ROCK, Mich. (WXYZ) — Brittney Wolte was shocked to hear her name May 15 at Fuerst Park in Novi, when an organizer introduced her as Michigan's newest "Senior Miss Amazing."
It was the first time Brittney had ever entered the competition, which she only just heard about this year.
“The word truly fits. Miss Amazing, it just fits," Brittney's mom Shannon Wolte-Rotondo said.
Miss Amazing first started in 2007 in Omaha, Nebraska. The non-profit pageant now has more than two dozens states participating. It's a pageant designed to celebrate girls and women with disabilities; the competition also teaches life skills like public speaking or interviewing.
For Brittney, the competition was a great way to practice her speech therapy and spread joy, something her mom Shannon says comes very easily.
Neither Shannon nor Brittney were expecting a victory, but instead just a chance for Brittney to have some fun and meet new friends.
"Oh my God. Oh My God!" you can hear Shannon say behind the screen of her iPhone as she filmed Brittney received her crown and sash.
Brittney, who has Cerebral Palsy, learned about Miss Amazing through her day program called Paragon. She competed alongside a good friend.
Shannon says there were plenty of extracurricular programs available to Brittney as a young girl and even as a teenager, but as she's gotten older they've grown more slim. Many of Brittney's friends enjoy Special Olympics, but she's not really into sports so finding a place she could shine, Shannon said, was really special.
“I’m so happy! It’s amazing," Brittney told 7 Action News in her living room following her May 15 victory.
Now she'll head to Nashville for the national "Miss Amazing" pageant July 31-August 2.
“I was just so excited for her because you could just see the happiness on her face. She was just loving everything she was doing. It was beautiful," Shannon said.
Miss Amazing also gives Brittney a platform to talk about her passion projects, which include a budding business she started during the pandemic; she makes personalized hair bows and barrettes.
“So who does a better job, the people at Miss Amazing or me?" Shannon asked as she curled Brittney's hair at home, practicing for the big competition in a few weeks.
Brittney had her hair and make-up done professional for the May 15 competition in Novi.
Shannon has already started fundraising to cover hotel and travel costs for the big competition.
Like so many others, Brittney has battled anxiety over the years. Win or lose in Nashville, Shannon sees this as an opportunity to grow Brittney's confidence and allow her to do what she does best: spread joy.
“Had this been around you know years ago, it might have made a larger difference in the way she deals with her anxiety.”
Brittney and Shannon leave for Nashville on July 29.