Princesses and Queens Crowned at Illinois Miss Amazing

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There were happy endings for these queens and princesses.

Over the weekend at Naperville Yellowbox Church, the spotlight shined brightly on girls who are breaking down barriers at Illinois Miss Amazing.

For the past five years, the nonprofit pageant has celebrated girls and women with disabilities, building self-esteem and confidence in a supportive environment.

“One of the big pieces of it is that it’s a big community,” said Nicole Minasnian, the 2015 Illinois and National Miss Amazing Teen Queen. “Everybody is friends, and even though it’s a ‘competition’, no one really talks about it as a competition, no one is backstabbing or trying to play mind games. Everyone is everyone’s friend, and it’s so great coming and being friends with everyone at the event. And being friends with some of them throughout the year as well.”

“It means something different for each of them. What I’ve heard a lot is that they have felt so supported and encouraged to just be themselves. So I love it that we give them a platform to express themselves well, and that they just shine,” said Erin Tobias, the Advancement Director for Illinois Miss Amazing.

50 girls and women ranging from five years old and up competed in this year’s pageant.

All participants are crowned as princesses, and a queen is chosen in each age group to represent the state at National Miss Amazing.

Queens volunteer and participate in events all year round, growing the reach of Miss Amazing even further.

“It’s also important for the community to know that this type of organization exists and we would love to have the public come and support us at our event and throughout the year we do smaller events,” said Tobias

National Miss Amazing will be held in August in Chicago. To learn more, check out their website.

Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.