Kemi Yemi-Ese was a senior preparing for medical school in July 2006 when her life took an unexpected turn. Yemi-Ese was driving back to Waco when her car was hit, causing it to roll multiple times before landing in a ditch. The hopeful future doctor was now in desperate need of medical help herself. She miraculously survived, but a spinal cord injury left her paraplegic and wheelchair-bound.
Many would have given up at this point; not Yemi-Ese. After a long year of physical and occupational therapy, she returned to Baylor to finish that one final semester, graduating in August 2008 with a degree in neuroscience.
This spring, Yemi-Ese picked up another title: Ms. Wheelchair Texas 2010. Based on interviews and her accomplishments since the accident, she was selected from among nine finalists as the most accomplished and articulate spokeswoman to represent the millions of disabled people in Texas and beyond. Over the next year, Yemi-Ese (pictured here with Angela Hemmen, BBA ’03, a member of the Ms. Wheelchair Texas Foundation board) will travel the state making public appearances and conducting radio, print and television interviews to promote awareness of disability issues. She also will represent Texas in the Ms. Wheelchair America Pageant this August.
“Our contestants impart a progressive notion that real beauty is not measured by the number of heads you turn, but by the number of lives you touch,” says Angela Wrigglesworth, president of the Ms. Wheelchair Texas Foundation. “Kemi truly embodies this definition of beauty. Kemi has a servant’s heart, an incredibly sweet spirit, grace, determination to overcome incredible obstacles, and a passion to serve others. Her strength is inspiring.”
Sic ’em, Kemi!
[We learned of Yemi-Ese's honor from a Bear who shared her Baylor pride. Do you know of an inspiring story, news item, or just a fun link that makes you proud of Baylor and the Baylor family? Let us know! Click on the "Submit Your Point of Pride" button in the top right corner!]