Alette Coble-Temple may have been apprehensive to participate in the Ms. Wheelchair California and Ms. Wheelchair America Pageants, but, as it turns out, life events had been pointing her in the direction of becoming a strong advocate for people with disabilities before she even knew what that really meant. Growing up with cerebral palsy in the 1970s, doctors and “professionals” gave her little chance of having any semblance of a productive life. Thankfully, Alette and her parents knew better. Required to attend a special education school at first, Alette and her family fought the school system so that she could attend the same school as all of the other kids in her neighborhood in fourth grade and was fully mainstreamed from then on, where she was only getting started in showing others how capable she truly is.
Alette gave the student commencement speech at her high school graduation and then attended Santa Clara University. She became the first student with a physical disability to live on campus and to join the Zeta Epsilon Chapter of the Delta Gamma Sorority. While at Santa Clara University, she founded the first campus support group for students with disabilities. She earned her Bachelors in Psychology and then attended John F. Kennedy University to obtain her master’s degree. She earned her master’s degree in 18 months and was named her graduating class’ Most Outstanding Student. She wasn’t done with her degrees quite yet! She went on to earn her doctoral degree in psychology at JFK University and was again named Most Outstanding Student. She is now a licensed psychologist and has worked in the areas of disability research and has provided clinical practice to a variety of populations. Last year, she returned to her alma mater and became a psychology professor at JFK University. She also serves as an independent evaluator for the Board of Parole Hearings for the State of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and is part of numerous professional organizations and conventions as a keynote speaker. Yet, with all of her education, experience, and accolades, she still wasn’t sure that she was cut out to be a titleholder.