Ms. Wheelchair California 2020 

Saturday, February 29, 2020

John F. Kennedy University

100 Ellinwood Way, Pleasant Hill


Crowning Event at 3pm 

Open to the public

Ms. Wheelchair CA 2020 Contestants
Kara Paulson 
Menifee, CA

MWCA Competition Platform 

2020 VISION: A Legacy of Sight

People's Choice Award

Five Words to Describe Kara






Christine Burke

Danville, CA

MWCA Competition Platform 

Disability Inclusion and

Representation in the Arts

Five Words to Describe Christine






People's Choice Award

MWCA 2020 Judges
Eliza Stauffer,
Ms. Wheelchair America 2017

Eliza Stauffer is a life-long disability advocate who believes the disability community can make great strides with a little bit of stubbornness and a lot of unity. She stays busy. In 2011, she raised disability awareness by breaking the Guinness World Record for Wheelies in a wheelchair, in 2014 she became an alternate on the USA Paralympic Women’s Basketball team, in 2016 she was crowned Ms. Wheelchair Utah and, after some mentorship from Alette, she then won Ms. Wheelchair America 2017. As MWA 2017, she worked to build up advocacy networks and increase disability voting rights, taking her advocacy to 22 states. She sued successfully against stand-up voting in political caucuses and continues to fight for people with disabilities as an Advocate at the Disability Law Center.

Thomas Stewart, Ph.D.
President, John F. Kennedy University

Thomas Stewart, Ph.D., President John F. Kennedy University, has been actively involved in education reform and innovation for nearly twenty years. He has co-founded and led approximately twenty organizations within and across nonprofit, public, and for- profit sectors, including Patten University, Black Alliance for Educational Options, SEED Public Charter School of Washington (DC), National Black Graduate Student Association, and District of Columbia Community College Prep Public Charter School.

Dr. Stewart has authored numerous publications focused on various aspects of education reform, particularly the challenges and opportunities facing low-income, first- generation, and non-traditional students and their families. Most recently, he coauthored (with Dr. Patrick J. Wolf) The School Choice Journey: School Vouchers and the Empowerment of Urban Families (Palgrave and McMillian 2014). He received a BA, with honors, from the University of the District of Columbia, and Ph.D. in Government from the Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Robin Wearley

Robin Wearley, PA-C, MSc is a retired Flight Attendant and Cardiovascular Physician Assistant with a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Behavior & Leadership and a Master of Science in Health Communication.

​Her experiences in the travel and healthcare industries were instrumental in helping her identify the unmet safety need addressed by ADAPTS™ portable transfer sling: ensuring a safe, comfortable evacuation method for people with disabilities.

Robin has a long history with supporting initiatives that provide leadership development and confidence building opportunities for women and girls. These include Girl Scouts, Dress for Success,, and the LA Rollettes. ADAPTS is proud to sponsor the Ms. Wheelchair California mission.

Competition Details

Competition Information

  • This annual competition is not a beauty contest; it is a competition of advocacy and achievement.  

  • This is an excellent opportunity for women in the disability community to gain leadership skills, learn how to advocate for our community, and form lifelong relationships with other women in the disability community.  

  • This is the only California state competition associated with the Ms. Wheelchair America pageant.

Contestant Expectations

  • Give platform speeches on the subject of their experiences and future plans for advocacy. 

  • Create and exhibit trifold posters. These posters should be visualizations showcasing the contestants passions, platform and any previous advocacy efforts.

  • Participate in interviews with judges and participate in pageant workshops. These interviews will help the judges get to know the contestants. Check back soon for more information about workshops and judges.

  • See the information or click the MWCA Job Description above for more information about what it means to be Ms. Wheelchair California.

Contestants must be willing and able

to perform the following duties if selected as state titleholder

  • Attend the Ms. Wheelchair America (MWA) 2021 Competition in Little Rock, Arkansas (Monday, August 17th through Sunday, August 23rd 2020)

  • Fundraising*

  • Make at least 2 public appearances each month ** 

  • Write a monthly blog and utilize social media

  • Travel throughout Northern and Southern California

*Including MWA entrance fee of $2000. We are a non-profit. While we wish we could fund the titleholder, the degree to which the organization raises funds depends on the ability of the titleholder, with our guidance and assistance, to raise funds.

**Such appearances may include: 

  • public speaking (ex. schools, local/state disability organization events) 

  • meeting with local/state representatives

  • local business/chamber of commerce

  • Disability Events (ex. ADA Annual Anniversary in Sacramento)

  • Abilities Expos

Venue Information

The 2020 Ms. Wheelchair California Leadership Competition 

February 29, 2020

John F. Kennedy University

 100 Ellinwood Way, Pleasant Hill, CA

Parking: Parking is available on the north and east sides of the main JFKU building. Disabled persons parking is available on the east side of the building, opposite Ellinwood Way.

Bart Instructions From Oakland Airport

(roughly 90 minutes total):

1. Board Coliseum train, ride one stop, get off at Coliseum

2. Board Warm Springs/South Fremont - Richmond train toward Richmond. Ride 4 stops, get off at 19th Street Oakland.

3. Board Pittsburg/Bay Point - SFIA/Millbrae train toward Pittsburg/Bay Point. Ride 6 stops to  Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre

4. Walk 3 minutes to Pleasant Hill Bus Stop on Coggins Drive.

5. Board bus #9. Ride 26 Stops to JFK University.


Hilton Concord

970 Diamond Blvd.

Concord, CA 94520

(925) 827-2000

$123 1-2 people

$133 3 or more

Accessibility Features:

14 ADA rooms

Standard shuttle and


accessible van available

upon request.



Hyatt House

2611 Contra Costa Blvd,

Pleasant Hill 94523

(925) 934-3343

$199 1 bdrm.

$209 2 bdrm.

Group discounts:


Accessibility Features:
8 ADA rooms

6 w/ tubs

2 with R.I. shower

No Shuttle


Extended Stay


3220 Buskirk Ave.

Pleasant Hill 94523



Accessibility Features:
5 ADA rooms

R.I. shower or tubs w/


No Shuttle



Courtyard by Marriott

2250 Contra Costa Blvd.

Pleasant Hill 94523

(925) 691-1444

Roll-in shower 

with 1 king: $119

Roll-in shower with

2 queens: $129

Accessibility Features:

6 Full-Accessibility rooms



Embassy Suites by Hilton

1345 Treat Blvd.

Walnut Creek, CA 94597

(925) 934-2500

DBL Rm $159
ADA rooms same price

Accessibility Features:
7 ADA Rooms

All with R.I. shower

No shuttle









Residence Inn

by Marriott

700 Ellinwood Way

Pleasant Hill 94523

(925) 689-1010

1 KB+sofa-

$189 +tax

2 RM suite-


Accessibility Features:



©2020 by The Ms. Wheelchair California Leadership Institute. Proudly created with