Did you know…Heather Whitestone is the first deaf woman to win the Miss America pageant?


Heather Whitestone was born hearing in Alabama, US and lost most of her hearing as an infant. From a young age, she loved ballet and practiced it most of the time growing up. This helped her build confidence and encouraged her to participate in pageants.

After experiencing several pageants and winning Miss Alabama, she moved on to the national pageant where she won the 1995 Miss America title. Winning the title gave her a platform to showcase her STARS (Success Through Action and Realization of your dreams) program nationally.

She traveled around the United States teaching children the five key attitudes for success: having a positive attitude, believing in a dream, willing to work hard, face obstacles, and build a strong support team.

Alongside the STARS program, she served as an executive member on the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities.

Taking after her biggest hero and inspiration Helen Keller, Heather Whitestone is currently working as an advocate for the deaf and authored several books.


Did you know the founder of Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low, was deaf?

Zach LaVine involved with the Deaf Community