Reflecting on this past weekend has me utterly speechless. I am beyond words as my heart simply overflows with pure joy, gratitude, and excitement! The past eight months have been jam packed with preparations for this single weekend. I truly worked harder than I ever thought possible and the growth I’ve seen within myself speaks to that.
I am going to start off by saying I am thrilled to have placed first runner up to the new Miss New Hampshire’s Outstanding Teen, and to have also been awarded overall interview, scholastic achievement, community service, and preliminary onstage question. I still get butterflies thinking of all that, but that’s not what this is about for me.
One of the things I am most proud of as I walk away from the pageant, is the honor I gave to my platform. As many know, I love my platform, Seeds of Hope, more than anything and I was excited to use this competition as a way to do justice for something that means so much to me. I wanted to take each opportunity I found to speak about my platform, but let my successes against the hunger crisis facing our world shine for themselves.
I also want to say that I really believe one of the leading factors in my growth from last year’s competition to this year’s was the confidence I found in myself. Building confidence was one of the fundamentals of my preparations leading up to the big stage. I still have growth to be done in this aspect, but it is evident that the progress is being made. I owe it all to the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen program. I found my passion, purpose, and power in this organization.
Finally, I must preach to the sisterhood. Seeing each of the contestants in the dressing room is one of the most amazing sights. I never thought I would create friendships as strong as I have through a pageant. The entire weekend and beyond we are always jumping to the help of one another. May it be zipping up a gown, gluing on false eyelashes, or a good group hug before showtime, the sisterhood is more real than an outsider can possibly imagine. These girls are destined to be forever friends. Standing at the front of the stage just before crowning, in front of some of my biggest cheerleaders, who were also my competitors, and holding hands with the winner when her name was called, was nothing but magical. I am sure that it does not matter who wins the crown, all that matters is who wins at life. I am genuinely happy to say that as leaders, scholars, servants, and performers, I know all 29 of us are certainly doing that!
As you can probably tell, I had quite a remarkable time at this year’s Miss New Hampshire’s Outstanding Teen competition. The minute I stepped off the stage the clock reset and it began time for me to start preparing for next year. Ready to return even stronger, more passionate, more knowledgeable, and more myself than ever, let the countdown begin.