Rios wins Miss Deaf Oklahoma title
Mary Rios, a student at the University of Science and Arts, has been awarded the title of Miss Deaf Oklahoma Ambassador at the recent Oklahoma Association of the Deaf Conference.
Rios, a senior deaf education major from Lawton, was awarded the title at the Oklahoma Association of the Deaf (OAD) Conference on June 10.
Miss Deaf Oklahoma Ambassador (MDOA) pageant is open to Oklahoma women between the ages 18 to 28 who are deaf or hard of hearing. The purpose of the MDOA Pageant is to choose a promising young lady to serve as ambassador for the OAD and as spokesperson for the Oklahoma deaf community.
In addition to the honor of earning her title and the responsibilities that come with it, Rios will have the opportunity to compete with other deaf and hard of hearing women for the title of Miss Deaf America at the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) Conference in July 2012.
“As I won the title being named Miss Deaf Oklahoma,” Rios said, “I remember looking at my younger sister and mother in the audience with sense of pride.”
“I was overwhelmed and humbled by the honor of being chosen.”
The pageant is made up of a four-stage process that involves a private interview with judges, a presentation demonstrating the candidate’s familiarity with the National Association for the Deaf and its goals, a talent competition and a final, on-stage interview.
Rios indicated that her time as a student at USAO helped to prepare her for her upcoming role as an ambassador on behalf of the deaf community of Oklahoma.
“USAO's staff and students come from such varied backgrounds, beliefs and experiences,” Rios said, “that it taught me to be open to different ideas.
“Most of all, I have become a stronger leader and know more about who I am because of my experiences at USAO. I believe what I learned at USAO will carry with me as I do my best to be a great inspiration for young people throughout the state as Miss Deaf Oklahoma.”
Rios’ presentation focused on the social prejudices that an individual must overcome in order to meet his or her full potential. Her talent contribution was a short magic show performed in the persona of Charlie Chaplin.
“The Oklahoma Association of the Deaf is honored to have Mary Rios to represent us as Miss Deaf Oklahoma Ambassador for the next two years,” said Lynn Null, president of the OAD.
“We know that she will be a wonderful ambassador in this state. We look forward to her participation in the Miss Deaf America Ambassador showcase at the National Association of the Deaf conference in Louisville, Kentucky next summer.”
The Oklahoma Association of the Deaf (OAD) was established in 1910 and incorporated in 1949. It is affiliated with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) that was formed in 1880 and is currently operated as a national civil rights premier organization with 50 affiliated state organizations including the OAD.
The mission statement of the OAD is to promote, protect and preserve the civil rights and quality of life of deaf and hard of hearing individuals in Oklahoma. The vision statement of the OAD is that every deaf and hard of hearing individual can and will obtain maximum potential through increased independence, productivity and intergration without barriers.
This year’s OAD conference marked the 100th anniversary of the organization.