If you have seen my LinkedIn profile, you have probably seen that my new found passion in college is the Miss America Scholarship Program. I had done pageants as a kid, but I decided to stop around 4th grade. When I went to college, one of my roommates, Marisa, introduced me to the Miss America system and I fell in love.
When Marisa introduced me to the system, I really had my Miss Congeniality moment. It was an eye opening experience. I’m so glad that I was shown this system because I have always loved volunteering and that is something I have been doing since I was 12 years old. It has been a major part of my life and I was super excited because the Miss America System let contestants bring an organization of their choosing to a local, state or even national level.
Bringing the Idea to Life:
Getting started with this program was easier said than done. Starting out, I had to pick a platform. My platform would be the organization that I would promote during my year with the title. Picking out a broad idea of platforms was easy. I knew I wanted to do something with the troops. It took a lot of research, but I finally landed on Mission 22.
Mission 22 is an organization that focuses on veterans with PTSD and TBI. They were the most appealing to me because of the wide range of services they offer to veterans and their families. They began with the goal of wanting to shrink the suicide rates among veterans. Now they have partnered up with numerous programs that can help veterans recover with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to pairing veterans up with service animals.
With my platform chosen I was able to continue with the paperwork needed to compete. My next step was raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network. This is probably the best part of the program in my opinion. Instead of requiring entrance fees, the Miss America Organization has every Miss Contestant raise $100 before they can compete.
Through this program I have met some amazing girls that do so much in my community and others throughout the state. It is a very empowering communityand it really isn’t what everyone makes it out to be. I would highly recommend it to any woman who is remotely interested.
Concluding my Experience:
This program has gotten me more involved with my volunteering again. When I was young it was easy to find time to go out and volunteer, but after I started working, I got lazy with it. Now that I compete, I have started volunteering again and I even became a Mission 22 Ambassador. I’m even training for a Run 4 the Troops event in 2018. I’m so happy with the person I am becoming and I owe a lot of it to the Miss America System for bringing me back to what I love.
There will always be people out there that don’t understand this side of the pageant system and will always say it demeaning. At one point, I agreed with them. I mean, women walking around on stage in bikinis in 6” stilettos? It had me cringing at the thought. I could never figure out why a woman would do that. That portion of competition is called lifestyle instead of swimsuit for a reason, though.
The titles require a lot of work and the lifestyle is crazier as your title grows. They want to see that you are healthy. While I still don’t think I’m completely on board yet with the lifestyle competition, I do appreciate that they are looking for healthy women. They can probably change competition a little bit to show that, but tha