abbey curran not only miss iowa

Abbey Curran: Not Only Miss Iowa, But ‘Miss You Can Do It’

Abbey Curran was born with Cerebral Palsy, a condition that causes issues with muscle tone, posture and movement.  When she was a child, she was told that she would never walk without holding onto something.

Then, in her teens, long after she had conquered walking, she wanted to try out something much more aggressive: competing in the Miss Iowa Pageant!  It had been her dream since she was a little girl. Following her own motto, she decided “I’ll try”. When people heard of her goal, they laughed at her.

To their surprise and even her surprise, Abbey not only competed for Miss Iowa, but she won the 2008 Miss Iowa Contest!  With that victory, she became the first contestant with a disability to compete for Miss USA!

However, Abbey has never been content to just promote herself and her own success.  For the past 10 years, Abbey has run a non-profit pageant for other young girls and women with special needs and challenges.  It is called the ‘Miss You Can Do It Pageant‘ and it is the recent subject of a documentary on the cable network, HBO.

For her own personal accomplishments and her passion for helping others, Abbey is no doubt one of the most extraordinary people we have ever featured on InspireMyKids.

Learn about her amazing story in the videos below.

This first video, from 2008, tells about Abbey’s journey to winning miss Iowa:

This next short video, from HBO, provides a brief summary of the Miss You Can Do It pageant:

Additional Resources:

Topics for Discussion:

  • Why do you think Abbey decided to compete for Miss Iowa?
  • What is the biggest lesson that you learned from this story?
  • What is most special about Abbey?  How does she inspire you?

Take Action:

Teacher Features:

  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.
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