This past weekend I had the amazing experience to participate in the Miss Maryland USA Pageant. This experience has opened my eyes to a whole new world! I didn’t know what to expect, what kind of people I would meet, or how I would feel throughout the process.
Why did I choose to do this?
I hold the responsibility of being a mentor, coach, and example to female high school athletes and other young females in the community. This responsibility is a high priority for me because it is imperative that these young, impressionable women understand that they can do anything they put their minds to. I decided to run for Miss MD to show that it’s ok to step out of your comfort zone and no matter what the outcome, I gave it everything I had.
So what did the process entail?
Well, for starters, each finalist had to raise sponsorship donations from the community. This aspect was intriguing to me because it made me include the community in my venture. Next, each finalist had a 3 minute interview with 7 judges on the day we arrived. This interview would count for 1/3 of our score. That’s right…3 minutes counted for 1/3 of our score…crazy! So I know I had to make an impression. After that, pageant weekend started. Friday night and all day Saturday was filled with rehearsals, dance routines and getting acquainted with the other finalists. Saturday night was the preliminary judging and Sunday afternoon the top 15 would be selected and a new Miss MD crowned.
The weekend as a whole was a rush, and the time flew by as each rehearsal concluded and a new one began. But the most intriguing part of this whole experience was meeting the wonderful ladies who were part of this pageant. Many of whom had never been in a pageant and were also going out on a limb. Others, who were pageant veterans, were elegant, uplifting and motivated. Personally, I have a new found respect for the pageant process and the women who are part of that world. The environment was encouraging, accepting and positive for ALL contestants, new and old; this experience is something I will cherish forever.
Plus, who doesn’t love dressing up now and then?!
What I would tell the young ladies in the community who are struggling with their image…
Don’t be afraid to be you! Make each experience something that will show your true colors and something that will bring out the best in you! Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real…don’t let your insecurities hold you back from something that could be an inspiration to others.