GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Lesser known pageants have named their queens for Nebraska, with the goal of advocating for minority groups. On Friday, three Nebraska Queens came together to meet one another.
In addition to the traditional Miss Nebraska, there are other pageants which recognize other groups. Miss wheelchair Nebraska, and Miss Nebraska Latina. All three queens came together today to meet one another. Miss Wheelchair pageants have been around since the 1970s, but it hasn't gotten as much traction or recognition as a smaller organization. The goal is to recognize achievements despite disability, while providing an equal opportunity for all women.
Miss Latina pageants have also been running for decades, but this was only the third year there has been a Miss Nebraska Latina competition. Dayana Sifontes won Miss Nebraska Latina for 2019. "To participate in Miss Nebraska, I just did it with heart. I started working on my community. I did, I'm still doing community service here in Grand Island, Nebraska. I don't only consider myself representing the Latina community, I think I represent Nebraska as a whole."
The winner for Miss Wheelchair Nebraska, Aubrey Freeze, said that advocacy for those with disabilities is crucial to her pageant, especially for rural communities. Freeze expressed she was happy to meet other pageant queens outside of her own organization. "I'm so glad I got to meet these girls. I was kinda scared, I was a little intimidated. Cause I'm like you guys are probably way, your organizations are way more well known than our organization."
Miss Nebraska 2018, Jessica Shultis was glad to meet her fellow representatives of Nebraska, saying they were sisters. Her words of experience for their futures was "...just having a servant's heart and know that this year isn't really about you, it's about everyone that you're impacting."