Former Miss America to Appear at Chapel-Forum Nov. 8

Nov. 6, 1995

WACO, Texas - Heather Whitestone, former Miss America and Miss Alabama, will appear at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, during Chapel-Forum in Waco Hall at Baylor University.

Whitestone, who is deaf, captivates audiences with her speeches about overcoming adversities and achieving goals. Her platform, "Anything is Possible," reiterates her statement that "the only thing that can stop you is you."

"My deafness does challenge me," she said. "It's shown me I can hear with my heart and my eyes and my mind."

Whitestone was the first Miss America with a disability. She lost 95 percent of her hearing from a reaction to a diphtheria-tetanus shot when she was 18 months old. Whitestone communicates through the use of sign language.

She is a junior at Jacksonville State University majoring in accounting. She leads the nation's largest public service campaign to identify early hearing loss and is an executive member of the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. She created the S.T.A.R.S. Program (Success Through Action and Realization of your DreamS) and actively promoted it during her reign.

"People who do and don't have disabilities have the same equipment that famous people have," she says through sign language. "You have a brain and a heart, you can think and you have a dream."

Whitestone was Miss America for 1995. As Miss America, she traveled more than 200,000 miles. She was awarded a $37,000 Miss America scholarship to continue her education.

For more information, call 755-3517.

Looking for more news from Baylor University?