Miss Georgia 2022 pageant:Kelsey Norris needs only one word to summarize her reaction when she learns that she is the first candidate with an intellectual disability to qualify for the Miss Georgia scholarship contest in its 77-year history.
“Happiness,” she told the Ledger-Enquirer at the RiverCenter Center for the Performing Arts in Columbus, where 53 Miss Georgia nominees and 38 teen Miss Georgia nominees are vying for more than $70,000 in college scholarships this week. The final match will start at 6 pm on Saturday.
Kelsey, 18, was diagnosed with autism and Rubinstein-Taby syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes developmental delay. She is a novice and straight student in special education at the Veterans School in Kathleen Township, Houston. She lives in nearby Bonaire with her single mother, Carol, who owns Norris Consulting Group, which advises and writes for grants for public agencies, nonprofits, and affiliates.
Miss Georgia 2022 pageant
Kelsey Norris Competition Background
Kelsey started competing at the age of ten. She learned about the Miss Georgia contest through her Princess program, which matches girls ages 5-12 with Miss Georgia and is one of the leading teen candidates to mentor them during competition week. In 2016, she was paired with Warner Robbins, Miss Houston’s most exclusive teenager Kelsey Hollis, who won Miss Georgia’s most exclusive title that year.
This means Kelsey could join the National Competition with Hollis, where Kelsey won the prize for raising the most money among princesses that year, over $6000 for the Child Prodigy Network. Not only did Kelsey have fun, but she saw the positive impact she had on her community and beyond through the Miss America organization. So she had to continue participating in the competition on her own.
“I would love to win the crown,” she said. And her mom loves what these competitions have done for Kelsey’s development as she grapples with her disabilities. Carol tells L-E that the quiz helps her improve eye contact and other social skills. It also provides Kelsey with inspiration and opportunities to grow in community service projects. Carol appreciates the “great support and kindness” that Kelsey receives from Miss Georgia and the nominees.