Parkersburg woman wins ‘Junior Miss Ability’ title in Morgantown

Photo Provided Madelon Kerns, “Junior Miss Ability”

PARKERSBURG — Madelon Kerns, 21, of Parkersburg was crowned “Junior Miss Ability” at the 14th annual “Miss Ability Pageant” on Dec. 15 in Morgantown.

Kerns said she has a busy year ahead of her and can’t wait for all the activities to begin.

The pageant is for “special needs” girls and women and is put on by Stepping Stones at Mylan Park. More than 40 contestants competed for the title.

There were five age groups: “Tiny Miss Ability” (ages 5-10), “Little Miss Ability” (ages 11-15), “Junior Miss Ability” (ages 16-25), “Miss Ability” (ages 25-40) and “Senior Miss Ability” (ages 41 and up).

The girls and women competed in three categories: interviews, talent and poise in the evening gown competitions. All competitors received a crown, a trophy and a title but only one in each division received the winner’s crown.

Throughout the day the contestants had their makeup, hair and nails done by volunteers. “The girls get so excited when it is their turn to have their hair and makeup done,” said Monica Marietta, executive director of Stepping Stones and pageant coordinator. “They all get to be beauty queens for the day.”

Madelon is the daughter of Rockey and Juli Kerns of Parkersburg. She graduated from Parkersburg High School in 2016 and then completed the two-year work Living Program at Parkersburg High. She is now working at SW Resources and loves her job.

Madelon has been an Ohio Valley All-Stars cheerleader since she was 6 years old. Her team, the Superstars, has won national championships. She also studies dance with Dolly Mazzari and has performed in many recitals.

Madelon is vice president of the People First youth group, which teaches people how to advocate. She has traveled to the West Virginia state Capitol many times and has attended West Virginia self-advocacy conferences.

In 2011, her photograph was selected to be on the MTV screen in Times Square, New York City representing the Down Syndrome Buddy Walk. Madelon traveled to New York City to participate in that Buddy Walk.

She loves spending time with her family and her friends. She also loves traveling and got to use her passport for the first time this year traveling to the Dominican Republic.