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Wheelchair Pageant Contestants Include Mississippi College Graduate

Lauren Compere

Mississippi College graduate Rebecca Grace Sentell is among four contestants seeking the title of Ms. Mississippi Wheelchair.

The 2017 pageant is set for March 10 at the Madison Central High Auditorium. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

A Madison resident, Sentell received her master’s in addiction counseling from Mississippi College. She serves as an employment counselor at the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitative Services. The state agency seeks to help people with disabilities find employment opportunities and gain access to other resources.

Other contestants are:

-- Jackson resident Rochelle Ledbetter Wilks, who studied social work at Mississippi State University, and worked as a volunteer and fund raiser.

--Author Uniqua L. Atkinson. The Shannon, Mississippi resident studied psychology at Mississippi State

-- Pamela Phillips, a Goodwill Industries employee and winner of the Ms. Lincoln Residential Center Pageant. Pamela is a Brandon resident.

Mississippi College graduate Lauren Compere, a former Ms. Wheelchair Mississippi, is delighted to once again promote the annual pageant.

“This pageant is a great opportunity for ladies to make friends, gain confidence, enhance public speaking skills and advocate for disability issues,” Compere said.

The winner will represent Mississippi at the Ms. Wheelchair America contest August 14-20 in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Compere earned her bachelor’s degree from MC in psychology with a perfect 4.0 average in December 2015.

Confined to a wheelchair for almost her entire life, Lauren was selected Ms. America Wheelchair runner-up at the pageant in Des Moines, Iowa in 2016. “I can say from experience, that this is an opportunity of a lifetime!.”

The 2017 Mississippi pageant will feature state Sen. Sally Doty as its keynote speaker. An attorney, her district spans Lawrence, Lincoln and Simpson counties. A Republican, Doty is a graduate of MC Law School in Jackson.

Joining the pageant’s entertainment lineup, Miss Mississippi Laura Lee Lewis will sing and Ballet Magnificat dancers are scheduled to perform. Ms. Wheelchair Mississippi Lisa Ann Redd of Vicksburg will also address the audience that Friday evening.

The state coordinator for the Ms. Wheelchair Mississippi Foundation, Compere is busy launching a media blitz to showcase the event. She’s booking interviews with Jackson area TV and radio stations, including STAR 93.5 at Mississippi College.

Tickets cost $5 and can be purchased at the door.

For more details, contact Lauren Compere at 601-832-8927 or