2010 Ms. Wheelchair Texas Kemi Yemi-Ese

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Kemi Yemi-Ese is a proud native Houstonian who lives here with her parents and four siblings. In July of 2006 while on her way home from a friend’s house, kemi lost control of her car while trying to avoid hitting another driver and crashed. From that accident she sustained a spinal cord injury (or SCI) at the cervical level resulting in quadriplegia. Before her accident Kemi attended Baylor University, majoring in Neuroscience and minored in studio art in the hopes of going on to medical school. She also participated in student organizations like the African Students Association, and the Minority Association of PreHealth Students. After about a year of physical and occupational therapy, Kemi re-enrolled at Baylor University and graduated in August of 2008. Going back to school allowed her the opportunity to be an advocate of students with disabilities, knowing first hand those struggles that she was unaware of while able bodied. Despite being newly disabled Kemi continues to paint and is employed as a team leader for Citizen Schools at Sharpstown Middle school. She is responsible for a team of 6th graders, working with them to improve their grades and enrich their learning environment. While in the classroom she serves as a living example of how one can be successful despite difficult circumstances. Her students believe that if she can do it then they can pursue their dreams as well.

On March 6, 2010, she competed in the Ms. Wheelchair Texas pageant after being prompted by other contestants and won the crown with a platform centering on employment issues faced by people with disabilities. As Ms. Wheelchair Texas 2010, Kemi will travel around the state raising awareness of disability issues and will go on to the national competition in Grand Rapids, MI in August. In a few years Kemi hopes to continue her education by obtaining a master’s in Art Therapy and then travel more doing medical mission work. Never being one to back down when faced with a challenge, Kemi still has medical school in mind down the road.

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