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Tampa Bay woman competes for Ms. Wheelchair America; spokeswoman for the disabled community

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Posted at 5:22 PM, Aug 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-12 22:13:54-04

SEFFNER, Fla.  — A Tampa Bay woman is competing in a pageant that shows the world to look beyond a person’s disability and focus on their accomplishments.

“Let me tell you, this chair doesn’t hold me back, it actually gave me so much confidence and so much freedom to do everything I'm doing now,” said Samantha Lebron.

After being crowned Ms. Wheelchair Florida 2020, Samantha Lebron is now vying for the Ms. Wheelchair America title.

Contestants are scored on their ability to communicate and present a positive vision for all disabled people.

“I just want the world to see us as we are. We’re people first and we’re capable of so many things if you would just give us a chance,” said Lebron.

Lebron who was born with cerebral palsy is running on the platform of improving paratransit services.

“Transportation influences everything, whether it’s getting to your doctor's appointments, going to school, being employed, finding housing. And without it people can't reach the opportunities that are set in front of them,” said Lebron.

The pageant is being held virtually this year. The winner will be crowned Saturday, August 14.

If she wins, Lebron will serve as a spokeswoman for the more than 64 million Americans with disabilities.

“It’s not about the crown. It's about advocating for ourselves and other people, for the whole entire world,” she said.