LORIS, SC (WMBF) - A student at Loris High School has earned a new title, and it's one she never thought she'd hold.
Now she's using her new platform to help others like her understand that if they believe in themselves, anything is possible.
Sixteen-year-old Monifah Simmons is a sophomore at Loris High School. On Friday, she was crowned Miss Loris High School, becoming the first female deaf student to earn the title.
"I said no, it couldn't be me," Simmons said. "Then when they called my name again, I said, 'Really?' I knew God did that, and I feel like yeah, I can do it because deaf people can do anything."
Simmons was born deaf, and at an early age, she and her mother traveled to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, where she underwent surgery to have cochlear implants following a near-tragic accident.
"I was walking to the mailbox, and my mama just pulled up, and I didn't hear the car," she said. "The car almost hit me. I didn't hear the car, and that's when she wanted to do something better for my hearing."
Simmons still can remember the day she was able to hear.
"I kept listening and listening and the first time I could hear birds. I could hear everything," she said.
Her condition led to bullying, something that caused her to question God about her struggles.
"I asked God why did he put me through this, and when I didn't get an answer, I decided to kill myself," Simmons said.
Ultimately, it was a comforting conversation with her mother that saved her life.
"We have a close relationship," Simmons said. "If we didn't have a close relationship, I wouldn't be here today."
Now that she is Miss Loris High School 2017, Simmons wants to help others and show people that is anything is possible.
"Don't be afraid and scared," she said. "If you let God open your heart, he will help you through it."
As Miss Loris High School, Simmons will get to attend parades, walk the field for homecoming, and participate in other activities and events to represent her school.
"People can say no, but God says yes," Simmons said. "That's two different things. Don't listen to them; don't pay them attention. You got to keep going, keep going, just be you."