Utah Miss Amazing Teen Queen breaks barriers for people with disabilitiesJul 12, 2022 02:51PM ● By Becky Ginos
Brianna Heim was crowned Utah Miss Amazing Teen Queen 2022 and will compete for the natioal title at the end of the month. Courtesy photo
LAYTON–Brianna Heim is no ordinary girl – she’s extraordinary. The incoming senior at Northridge High was just named Utah Miss Amazing Teen Queen 2022 and will be competing for the national title in Nashville at the end of the month.
“It’s an event to celebrate girls and women with disabilities,” said Wendy Heim, Brianna’s mother. “It is very empowering.”
The competition started in 2012, Heim said. “A lady was looking to start one here. She was a swim coach and asked us. We thought it sounded fun. There were only a handful of girls at first.”
Now the event has grown and there’s about 60 girls total, she said. “There are different categories. They start as young as 5. Rising star, Preteen division and Teen division.”
This isn’t Brianna’s first title. She was crowned Utah Miss Amazing Preteen Queen in 2015, National Miss Amazing Preteen Queen 2015, Utah Miss Amazing Jr. Teen Queen 2019, National Miss Amazing Jr. Teen Queen 1st runner up 2019 and now Utah Miss Amazing Queen 2022.
“First they come in and do an interview with a panel of judges,” said Heim. “They also do a service project before. When it’s time for the competition a big team of ladies come in and do hair and makeup. It’s so fun for them to wear pretty gowns. They come out on stage and introduce themselves and say what category they’re in.”
“I love Miss Amazing because you can go out on stage and shine,” said Brianna. “It doesn't matter if you use a wheelchair, walker or can't speak. You can go out on stage and just be you.”
Brianna was born with a rare disorder called Glutaric Acidemia Type I. “She lacks the enzymes to break down protein,” Heim said. “We have to monitor it so she has a very limited diet. It affects her fine and gross motor skills and speech. That’s why she uses a power chair and an iPad to talk.”
She’s a straight A student and takes mainstream classes, said Heim. “She works so hard.”
Brianna loves the spotlight, she said. “She’s also an actress and has done some TV commercials and movies. She was in the ‘Santa Box’ and that’s what really got her hooked on film. She’s in ‘Amber Brown’ on Apple TV that comes out on July 29. It’s super cool because it’s her first big speaking role using the app on her iPad to talk to the main character.”
Heim said Brianna loves everything. “She paints, draws, goes paragliding and has done indoor skydiving. That’s the closest she gets to fulfill that adrenalin rush. She loves to ski, climb rock walls and ride horses. She loves adventure and having fun. We just try to keep up with her.”
Brianna has also been pushed in many 5k, half marathons and full marathons, said Heim. “The most exciting has been participating in the Daytona 100 Ultra Marathon twice. It's a 100 mile run starting in Jacksonville, Florida ending in Daytona. She is called a rider athlete and a sweet man by the name of Peter Kline runs and pushes her in a special jogging stroller the whole way – nonstop.”
“Just because I have a disability doesn’t mean I’m not able to do things,” said Brianna. “I just do them differently. I am also an actress, model and published author. I love showing the world that people with disabilities are capable of anything. I just want to have as much fun as possible in life and hopefully inspire others to do the same.” λ