Emily Evans of Bucklin is Ms. Wheelchair Kansas. She says the small Ford County town was a great place to grow up.
"I swam every day in the summer and played hide and seek," Evans says. "You just kind of learned to make your own fun."
Now at age 25, those childhood years seem like forever ago. Bucklin says she had to grow up fast after a diving accident left her quadriplegic.
"I was 19 years old when I got hurt, and I think I've really found out who I am and who I want to be."
Once a star volleyball player, Evans still finds ways to be active. She has recently been water skiing and loves to deer hunt.
Evans says she was never interested in pageants before, but she sought the Ms. Wheelchair Kansas crown in order to encourage others. Her platform for the competition was "Empowering Youth to Define Themselves."
"I did this to try and see if my story can help out anybody, whether it be they are in a wheelchair, they have sustained a spinal cord injury like myself, or even just high school girls or junior high girls struggling just to fit in and find their place in life.
Evans works as a bookkeeper at Bucklin Tractor and Implement. When she won the Kansas crown her boss offered to pay for her trip to the Ms. Wheelchair America Pageant in Rhode Island this August.
Evans says her message isn't about finding easy ways around obstacles.
"I credit a lot to my faith, my family and hard work."
Evans says it's about not letting those obstacles stop you from finding your place and being yourself.