Monica Wiley, 42, of Laurel, MD, Brings Home the 2023 Maryland USA SLICC (Success through Leadership, Integrity, Character and Confidence) Ambassador 2023!
She will represent her state at the National USA Ambassador Competition in July in Orlando, FL where over $150,000 of cash, prizes, trips, and opportunities will be awarded.
At the age of nine, Ms. Wiley was diagnosed with an incomplete Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) caused by a drunk driver-tractor trailer accident that caused her family to plunge over a 150 ft bridge. Her entire family died, and she was the remaining survivor of the tragedy. Ms. Wiley was told that she would be paraplegic for the rest of her life. However, she beat the odds of the diagnosis and was able to begin rehabilitation to walk again. She currently walks with a cane. She is classified at Children’s Hospital of Richmond, Virginia as the Miracle Child.
Monica Wiley uses her story to make a meaningful impact in public policy and social justice for the cross-disability community. Ms. Wiley serves on the Maryland Statewide Independent Living Council board. She serves as Vice Chair of the United Spinal Association Chapter of Washington, D.C., and the Board of Directors of the United Spinal Association. Ms. Wiley is currently working on getting her proposed Election Law Curbside Voting Bill (HB0041) passed in the state of Maryland, which will allow individuals with disabilities to vote independently from the comforts of their vehicle or respective method of transportation. The bill includes pregnant women and veterans.
Ms. Wiley received the 2011 Community Activism Award from the Special Olympics, the 2011 Tom Whipple Democratic Party of Virginia Service of the Year Award, and the 2012 Top 40 under 40 Successful Leaders Award by Style Weekly. She plans to pursue a Masters in Counseling at Capella University in the fall.
One of her favorite mottos is a quote by Nelson Mandela, “A winner is a dreamer who never gives up!” Of her Ambassadorship, Ms. Wiley says, “I want to be a model of greatness and a source of inspiration for my community.” She is known in her community as “Ms. Mo the Motivator.”
The U.S.A. Ambassador Pageant is a charity-driven organization that promotes success through leadership, integrity, character, and confidence. Contestants are encouraged to implement these ideals throughout their pageant experience and everyday lives. With a focus on giving back, the U.S.A. Ambassador Pageant has donated to over 100 organizations across the country and has raised over $125,000 over the past 11 years for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Organization of Tampa Bay, which serves as the pageant’s National Charity Beneficiary.
Founded in the Fall of 2010 by Kristin Thurston and her late mother, Barbara Thurston, the U.S.A. Ambassador Pageant was established to promote each contestant’s individual strength while encouraging all contestants, queens, and their families to be involved and serve as ambassadors in their communities. Each year, U.S.A. Ambassador State Pageants are held nationwide, and the winning State Titleholders participate in the National Pageant. The U.S.A. Ambassador Pageant National Office is based out of the Tampa Bay Area, Florida.