Wages is also the first Miss Kansas in many years to work a full-time job while also completing a statewide tour of appearances and speeches.
She says it's been "all gas, no breaks" since she was crowned Miss Kansas in June.
A community outreach manager at the Wichita-based nonprofit Envision Inc., Wages has combined a longtime passion with a professional career, working to ensure equal opportunity for those who are blind and visually impaired. She'll take that platform to the national stage when she competes for the title of Miss America on Jan. 14 in Orlando, Fla.
While many people might think of pageants as only sashes and tiaras, Wages explains in this Q&A how it's much more than that.
How did you end up working at Envision?
All of that work I was doing, Envision started to notice. They're like, "Who's this girl that keeps advocating for the visually impaired?" ... And so in 2021, I started working here full-time, and so my title at Envision is community outreach manager, so basically I do everything under the umbrella of foundation services, so I do curriculum development, rehabilitation, research, community programs and workforce innovation. ... My goal as Miss Kansas, and just with my job at Envision, is to implement equal opportunities and find the diversity in education. You know, not everyone learns the same. Especially implementing vision awareness in the classroom and educating teachers where you might have to communicate things differently to kids based on how they're differently abled. ... So if you provide different tools to set them up for success, they'll be good to go.
Read the full article from the Wichita Business Journal at this link.