Pageant Planned for Girls with Special Needs

On Friday, May 6, reigning Miss Southcoast Jillian Zucco will host the Miss Inspirational pageant for girls with special needs and disabilities at the Old Rochester Regional High School auditorium at 6:30 pm.

Ms. Zucco, a graduating nursing student in the honors program at UMASS Dartmouth, is now accepting registrations from girls and young women for participation in this event on a first-come, first-serve basis. The goal of the pageant is to highlight and celebrate the achievements of those around us who are breaking barriers and overcoming challenges every single day.

Employed as a personal care attendant by the Cerebral Palsy of Massachusetts organization, Ms. Zucco has worked with several girls with varying levels of disability. “This event is going to focus on ability and empowerment. My goal is to raise public awareness by giving these young women and girls a platform to show the community how inspirational they truly are.”

The pageant will have four phases: Introduction, using any form of communication with or without assistance; Talent, sharing a unique ability, talent, or something the individual is proud of; Formal Wear, demonstrating grace and confidence in a party dress or gown of one’s own or one provided courtesy of the Cinderella Project through Gifts to Give; and Personal Statement submitted in writing before the event detailing obstacles overcome, barriers broken, and/or goals and aspirations, pieces of which will be read to the audience during the Formal Wear portion of the live show.

Ms. Zucco plans to accommodate individuals with all types of disabilities, including mental, physical, developmental and medical. An ASL interpreter will be available for those who need this service. The stage, dressing room and auditorium meet ADA accessibility guidelines, and a volunteer will be assigned to assist each participant on and off stage the night of the show to ensure they are prepared and ready for each phase.

The program will also recognize any males with special needs who would like to be involved as well.

There is no fee to participate. Tickets to the event will be available at the door for $10. All proceeds will benefit Boston Children’s Hospital through the Children’s Miracle Network.

To register or for more information, email Miss Southcoast is a local preliminary to the Miss Massachusetts and Miss America organizations.

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