Ms. Wheelchair California 2022!
My platform for my reign is Disability Representation in the Media to include literature, movies, commercials , shows,
I hope to awaken people to the lack of representation I see in the media and to
use positive experience and strong community support to advocate for my cause.
My name is Jacquelyne Yawn. I am currently 33 years old. I have been a resident of San Diego (specifically Santee) for a majority of my life. On September 1988, when I was four months old, I was in a car accident. As a result, I have a spinal cord injury at the c-6/c-7 level. I was involved in various disability programs growing up.
From 1993-2007 I was an athlete for the Adaptive Wheelchair Sports Program in San Diego. In 2007 I attended the Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) in San Francisco. From 2013-2017 I was a camp counselor for the Adaptive Wheelchair Sports Summer Camp. From 2007 to 2015 I was on the San Diego Adult Wheelchair Soccer team. We traveled each year to various soccer tournaments and competed nationally. I was MVP one year.
In 2010, I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in English Cum Laud with a minor in Religious Studies. In 2013, I received my Master’s Cum Laud in English with a specialization in American Literature and a certificate in Adolescent Literature. My research interests involved disability studies through the literary perspective and the theme of the society’s Other. At San Diego State I noticed a lack of disability representation in literary discussion and brought more awareness to the field.
I combined my personal background with literature to explore the constructions and uses of disability identity. Literature provides a solid foundation for disability studies by showing textual evidence of society’s perceptions on disability culture. I found strength in Literature due to the fact that it gives supporting texts for representation and identity for studies such as Gender, Ethnic, Disability, Class, and Minority.
As a student at San Diego State University (SDSU), I became involved in various volunteer jobs that gained me invaluable teamwork, office, and networking skills. From 2006-2010, I was a member of the Student Disability Advisory Board. In 2007 I was voted Vice Chair of the Board for two years. In 2009 was promoted to Chair as well as the Student Disabilities Representative Board Member of the Associated Student SDSU Student Affairs Board for a year. As a disabled student activist member on the Student Advocacy Board, I promoted for those with disabilities and their rights on campus.
In 2013 I was in a Dear Harvey play as Christine Kehoe. A play on the life of Harvey Milk. It was an amazing opportunity for me. As a person with a disability it is difficult to get roles.
2018 I started work as a Court Operations Clerk for the San Diego Superior Court. I love my job there. It is an amazing place to work and adaptable for my disability. This past August I obtained my paralegal certificate at the UCSD Extension program. My long term goal would be to work as a paralegal.
My favorite past times are reading and writing. I am a huge movie fan and try to attend as many movie releases as possible. Additionally I enjoy traveling around my city to explore the sites like Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo, Downtown, Comic Con etc.
The Ms. Wheelchair California Leadership Institute is dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities. We are advocates, lifelong learners, and sisters, supporting each other to be our best selves.
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