When she was 5 years old, she began to do ballet lessons. Her mother wanted her to understand that there’s natural rhythm in the voice. The fluctuations of ballet music and movement helped her grasp that. With her talent and extensive training, Heather was good enough to become a professional dancer. But the professional dancer gets meager paychecks and would have to live with her mother.
She wanted to be Independent. At the next pageant, Miss Jacksonville State University, she was upfront about being deaf.
She asked the Judges to speak slowly and they accommodated her. She won the 1 992 Miss Jacksonville State University title and went on to be 1st runner up to Miss Alabama 1 992, Kim Wimpier. The following year she won the MISS Point Mallard competition and once again, placed 1st runner up to Miss Alabama, Sally Chapman.
After she became Miss America, she showed much dedication to the Deaf Community by serving on the executive board for the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities.
She helped establish a multimedia public service campaign to help identify early hearing loss. She was also a spokesperson for the Helen Keller Eye Research Foundation and the Starkey Hearing Aid Foundation. Now, she is married to a guy named John McCollum.
She met him while he was working for the Speaker of the House, Newt Ignoring in Washington DC and they dint start dating seriously until a month after she gave up her title, and then soon after that they got engaged.
They got married on June, 8th, 1996. They have now had two boys and are living in Georgia. I think Heather Whetstone is a great inspiration to the world because she definitely showed everyone that a deaf person can talk, can achieve and is able to do anything. That’s why I admired her so much, because it shows me that any deaf person including me can accomplish anything.