It’s been an AMAZING year for 13 year old Ani Besteder, the reigning 2014 Idaho Miss Amazing Preteen Queen. After winning the crown in Idaho, Ani went on to the national competition in Omaha and placed 3rd in her age group. “It feels amazing,” said Ani at the 2014 pageant. “It’s great to make new friends here and see some familiar faces.”
Miss Amazing is not just a beauty contest, it’s a program that encourages participants to dream big and reach their goals. It celebrates the abilities of girls and women with disabilities and supports learning of social and communication skills throughout the process.
Children’s Therapy Place (CTP) therapist, Stephanie Schoenfeld (COTA) co-leads a weekly occupational therapy group and has witnessed Ani’s extraordinary growth in self-confidence and social skills. Miss Stephanie commented, “It has been exciting to see Ani gain independence with activities of daily living. This independence has provided her with improved social skills, including the ability to initiate conversation and improved interactions with her peers.” Ani now has a new personal goal in the area of public speaking…. she’s looking forward to working in the community with Miss Stephanie to educate children about autism.
When asked how therapy has helped Ani, her mother, Amy commented, “Ani’s skills are always changing and improving and I think that’s just the coolest thing. Her life has been changed for the better with the support of the amazing therapists at CTP.”
Miss Amazing Pageants prove that the world is a much better place when the talents and ambitions of all people are celebrated and valued. CTP celebrates Miss Amazing 2014, Ani Besteder, and all children with disabilities who inspire us all to reach for the stars!
The 2015 Idaho Miss Amazing Pageant will be held March 27-28, 2015 in Nampa, Idaho.