National Pancake Day was a huge success! Around the country, miracles were made thanks to IHop and the amazing Children’s Miracle Network! We celebrated the work of this organization with some free pancakes last week. I had a great afternoon volunteering at a local IHop and it was a wholesome reminder of how lucky I am to be an ambassador for an organization so dedicated to nurturing the children who need it. Along with serving some delicious pancakes, I collected donations all to benefit the Boston Children’s Hospital. The kindness was outpouring and as always, I was truly impressed by the generosity of our community… but never surprised!
I always love any opportunity to contribute to the fight against hunger. I’ve made countless friendships that will last forever, gained so much knowledge, and experiences that I will hold in my heart as long as I live. Despite all the growth, it was so nice to return to my roots to help one of the very first organizations I spearheaded a food drive for. Every year, the New Hampshire Food Bank partners with WMUR News 9 to put on one of their biggest events to date. The Steel Chef Challenge is a super exciting competition between only the best chefs of the Granite State. They go head to head to whip up a dish with some unusual ingredients (this year it was Doritos, venison, and sardines!) and the panel of prestigious judges picks who the champion will be. This event was incredibly successful. Selling out, we raised lots of awareness just as well as money to solve the hunger epidemic facing our community. It was one of the best nights and even better considering its cause!
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.
Today, I received news that my first Seeds of Hope shipment finally reached its destination. From Hampstead, New Hampshire to Tonga, I am truly proud of myself for all I have done in attempt to solving the biggest issue facing our community today.
I started working to end hunger when I was seven years old. My family and I went out for a nice dinner one night in Boston. On the way back to our car, I saw a man on the street and instantly decided to give him my left over chicken nuggets. Something inside of me knew he needed it more than I did. This small act of kindness quickly spiraled into my purpose. Today, 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy life, but I have dedicated myself to changing that.
After seven years of food drives, pantry work, and soup kitchen service, I realized my purpose is my power and Seeds of Hope was born this summer. I alone cannot end hunger, but together, we are unstoppable. Seeds of Hope has two parts, but the ultimate goal will always be to decrease the number of those struggling with food insecurity. One aspect is empowerment. I use my voice to make an impact, speaking at all sorts of events to audiences of all kinds, raising awareness of the issue and sharing my story to let everyone know they really do have the power to make a difference. I want to plant Seeds of Hope in the heart of everyone I get the chance to speak to. Hope for the future, hope for our world.
The other aspect is more tangible. Through lots of fundraising efforts, I have been able to take my work against hunger international. Almost two months ago, I put together a box with 50 packets of different sorts of vegetable seeds and a handwritten letter and mailed it off to Tonga, with hopes of implementing a sustainable food source for a community on the island. It certainly took a lot of hard work, but today when I saw the photo of my box, my smile reached each ear. Knowing that my seeds are now feeding families in need on the other side of the world is the most fulfilling feeling I could ask for.
Today is my favorite day of the MNHOT social media challenge! Platform day! 🌻🌱💙 Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love my platform. It all started 8 years ago, decided to give my dinner leftovers to a homeless man sitting on the sidewalk. I then started volunteering at my local soup kitchen, and since it has spiraled into my absolute passion and what I want to do for the rest of my life. There’s nothing I am more proud of than the work I have put into ending world hunger. 💙
Isabel shares her story of hope to empower everyone to change the world because every beautiful flower and mighty forest began as a tiny seed in the dirt. To book Isabel Povey to speak at your school, fundraiser, or event, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 603-244-6386, and follow her journey through Instagram @maoteennh or Facebook at Isabel Povey
Judge each day not by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.
Isabel lives every day inspired and ready to change the world. Dedicated to her purpose, she gets closer to ending world hunger with every day. Whether she is organizing a food pantry, spearheading a local can drive, or providing communities overseas with reliable nutrients, she believes there is a solution to hunger, and will not stop until it is achieved.
Right now 1 in 9 people in New Hampshire are hungry or food insecure. In 2018, the New Hampshire Food Bank distributed more than 14.1 million pounds to more than 425 partner agencies across the state of New Hampshire. I host food drives, help at fundraisers, and volunteer at events like WMUR’s Spirit of Giving during the holidays to support the NH Food Bank.
The NH Food Bank is ALWAYS in need of packaged foods like canned chicken, canned tuna, canned salmon, peanut butter, jelly, mac n cheese, canned soup/stew/chili, canned/dried beans, canned nuts, rice, rice mixes, noodle mixes and pasta. If you are able to donate or volunteer, please visit https://www.nhfoodbank.org.
Register to run or volunteer at https://www.nhfoodbank.org/citizens-bank-shamrock-half-marathon-relay/