We’ve been keeping up with our energetic and dedicated friend from Kansas, Eva Woolwine.

As reported in our Summer 2005 Newsletter, she was off to the  Miss Kansas pageant (June 5 – 12) to compete with stuttering awareness and education as her platform. As a person who stutters herself since early childhood, Eva is passionate about clearing up  misconceptions regarding stuttering.

While Eva didn’t win Miss Kansas, she came away a winner nonetheless. As the youngest contestant, she won Newcomer of the Year and Most Inspirational Contestant. Additionally, her platform was rated among the top five!

“This exposure has been such a wonderful opportunity to continue my mission to educate the general public about stuttering,” Eva stressed. “People who stutter are as intelligent and well adjusted as non-stutterers. We are every bit as capable of contributing and succeeding.”

Her enthusiasm earned her a guest spot at The National Association of Young People Who Stutter Friends Convention in Cleveland (July 28-30).

Lee Caggiano, director, said of this years’ program, “We were delighted to have Eva join us at this year’s convention. She served as a wonderful role model for many of the young people attending Friends. Eva showed us all that stuttering does not have to prevent us from reaching our goals and fulfilling our dreams. We were happy to welcome Eva and look forward to having her join us again next year.”

Eva values opportunities such as speaking before the Friends convention in Cleveland, the NSA convention in Chicago, and being highlighted in the Stuttering Foundation’s newsletters. They allow her to encourage young people like herself. “It’s important not to lose sight of the possibilities for improvement, success, and fulfillment. It takes work, but there is hope and help every day!” she declares.

In fact, the Stuttering Foundation has had numerous requests from youngsters, teens, and their friends and families this summer to receive copies of the Summer Newsletter.

“Eva’s success makes her a great role model for us all,” said Jane Fraser, president of SFA.

This fall, Eva intends to study Psychology at a local community college. She will be competing in Miss Kansas USA in November. She will also be working toward her dream, being the first Miss America who stutters, by competing in Miss Kansas preliminaries.

If Eva seems amiable and gracious about not winning Miss Kansas, responding with “I’ll try again next year!” It’s because that is the philosophy she applies to life in general. And that is what she would like to share with all of us: All efforts are victories. Keep trying and you will succeed!