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Greer High School senior Carson Hannon knows where to find some real superheroes. She counts her brother among them. 

Carson is the reigning Miss Greer High School and recently competed in the Miss South Carolina Teen pageant. The 17-year-old’s pageant platform, Building Special Communities: Celebrating the Superhero in All of Us, focuses on young students with special needs and the importance of friendship.

The cause is one that is a lifelong pursuit for Carson. Her younger brother, Bo, was born with a condition that caused some significant delays. 

“She has tried to reach out to siblings about things she went through,” Teri Hannon, Carson’s mother, said. “She realizes how special he is. She has been independent with this platform. We are really proud of her.”

After graduation, Carson plans to attend the University of South Carolina and one day be a neonatal nurse. The platform is part of her overall focus on the well-being of children.

“I immediately was drawn to a platform having to do with my brother,” she said. “What I wanted to do to make it different was to influence not only the special needs kids, but their peers are well. I really wanted to embed in them to be friends with special needs kids. I wanted to get in the schools and say that, especially elementary schools.”

Carson took her message to Crestview Elementary, where her brother is a student, to Skyland Elementary and to several churches. She encourages those students with special needs by talking with them about their disabilities, which she calls superpowers. 

“With my experience with Bo, he has been such a blessing and such an influence in my life,” she said. 

With the typical students, Carson talked about kindness and friendship.

“I’ve always been passionate about influencing the special needs community,” she said. “A big thing I want to pursue is getting more recreational activities for them – anything to give mom and dad a break and get them out there with their peers. Of course, some of it has to do with my brother, but another part is just my passion for children and being able to have a firsthand impact on their lives.”

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