Titleholders know that to whom much is given, much is expected. Young women work to become representatives in their state for more than a résumé-builder or the chance to perform a talent onstage. For one year, the role is a job that requires time, passion, and commitment. But what often goes unnoticed is the importance of another role: first runner-up. Especially when the titleholder moves up the chain and the first runner-up is asked to step up to the plate, her presence and duty to the crown is essential to the continued success of the organization.
Amie Beth Shaver was first runner-up to Miss Alabama 1994 Heather Whitestone. Along with the other girls in the top ten, Amie Beth signed a contract that said if she was named first runner-up, and if the state titleholder won the national title, she would take on the role of state titleholder. When Heather was crowned Miss America a few months later, Amie Beth didn't hesitate to make good on her promise.
"My feelings were complete joy, and then disbelief," Amie Beth said. "I'd entered the hall in Atlantic City as Amie Beth, first runner-up, which was great! Then when I left, people were coming up to me saying, 'Miss Alabama!' It was very exciting."
Not every first runner-up has a story like Amie Beth’s. At times, the girls who are next in line for the crown finish out the year with the same title they held at the start. Even so, the impact of the role on their lives is still great. Jessica Bean was first runner-up to Miss Wyoming 2012. And although the current Miss Central Wyoming never took over for her state's Miss, she would have been ready if she were asked to do so. When Jessica was named first runner-up, she got the same "spiel" all Wyoming first runners-up get.
"They said if anything happens to the titleholder, I'm next in line," Jessica said. “I always need to be ready to step up to handle the responsibilities of the crown.”
In addition to keeping herself physically fit, Jessica made sure her platform and public speaking skills were also in shape. In fact, she says she was "out and about" promoting her platform and the Wyoming organization more as first runner-up than when she held other local titles.
The scholarships provided first runners-up could be just as important to the advancement of further education as the money won by the titleholder. For Amie Beth, the scholarships she put to use made a huge difference for her family. "I remember my dad pulling me into his office and saying ‘thank you so much for getting that scholarship money.’ He showed me how I was able to use it, and it was really humbling to do that."
Even if they are not the ones to do the final walk across the stage, flowers in-hand and crown on their head, the duty of the first runners-up is just as vital.
"I think a lot of people feel that the first runner-up is lost in translation, that they're forgotten about,” Jessica said, “when in this case, the Miss America Organization embraces them and encourages the fact that they're the first runner-up. MAO encourages young women who are first runners-up to promote themselves and the scholarship pageant, and to embrace being first runner-up because it's awesome!"
Read more success stories from titleholders, and first runners-up, across the country in fourpoints magazine. Subscribe today!
Written by: Erika Fifelski, fourpoints staff writer. Photo: Shelby Cohen with Miss Thousand Islands 2012 Allison Carlos and Miss Thousand Islands 2013 Lonna McCary
This year, Miss America's Outstanding Teen is pleased to introduce a new partner in academic excellence. The University of San Diego will now offer an exciting scholarship opportunity to the contestants at this year's Miss America's Outstanding Teen competition.
The 2013 Miss America's Outstanding Teen contestants will be invited to apply for fall 2014 admission to USD, and a designated renewable Alcalá Scholarship will be set aside especially for a qualifying young woman.
The scholarship winner will be entitled to an "Alcalá Scholarship"—valued at $25,000 toward her tuition and fees—provided she also meets the Alcalá Scholarship standards of scoring in the top ten percent of the applicant pool based on her grades and standardized test scores, and she demonstrates a commitment to service and civic engagement. The Alcalá Scholarship is renewable annually at USD, as long as the student maintains a minimum 3.0 grade point average and remains a full-time student in good standing at the university.
"The University of San Diego is proud to join Miss America's Outstanding Teen in encouraging the educational goals and professional aspirations of some of our nation's most exceptional young women," said USD's Vice President for University Relations, Dr. Timothy O'Malley.
Learn more about USD by visiting their website: www.sandiego.edu
If you are affiliated with a university, college, or other institution and would like to become involved with the Miss America's Outstanding Teen organization, please e-mail Jessica@MAOTeen.org.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie welcomed back the world’s most famous scholarship competition for young women to its New Jersey birthplace, Atlantic City. Gov. Christie announced that the date for the beloved pageant is Sunday, September 15. The official announcement was made with the Miss America Organization, along with Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, the Atlantic City Alliance, and the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority.
The Miss America pageant’s return to her home in Atlantic City, New Jersey, will be a thirteen-day event following Labor Day weekend and will include three nights of preliminary competitions taking place September 10, 11, and 12 at Boardwalk Hall. This historic return to Atlantic City will be a monumental event, complete with the much-anticipated Miss America "Show Us Your Shoes Parade" to be held on the famed Atlantic City Boardwalk, Saturday, September 14.
Sam Haskell, III, chairman of the board for the Miss America Organization, stated: “We are so excited to announce the date, and sincerely thank Gov. Chris Christie and the state of New Jersey and Atlantic City for their help in bringing Miss America home. We look forward to creating an incredible new era for our organization as we return to Atlantic City on September 15th, live on ABC! We are now looking forward to creating the most exciting television event ever for Miss America’s return home with the support of our network partner ABC. We know it will be a spectacular television event.”
“This September, we will be proud to showcase Atlantic City and Miss America together on network television. Miss America has evolved into a national pastime, and our organization enables over twelve thousand young women to participate in our scholarship program, each and every year. We know that the country will embrace our return to our birthplace and experience a new and very relevant Miss America,” stated Miss America’s President and CEO Art McMaster.
Tickets for the Miss America 2014 Competition will be on sale soon. Watch for the on-sale date in May, by visiting the Miss America Organization’s website.
Board action by the CRDA and the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority finalized the multiyear agreement that brings Miss America back to Atlantic City. The CRDA, ACCVA, and the Atlantic City Alliance all played key roles in forging the agreement that will attract even more tourists from around the world to America’s premier gaming and vacation destination.
The Miss America Competition is the latest of several world-class events to come to New Jersey. New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium will host the National Football League’s Super Bowl XLVII, February 2, 2014. MetLife Stadium will also host WrestleMania XXIX on Sunday, April 7, 2013, and will include WrestleMania Week activities, such as WrestleMania Axxess, the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, and Monday Night Raw. The 2012 season of NBC’s America’s Got Talent television show was held at and broadcast live from the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. New Jersey will host Formula 1 racing in Weehawken in June 2014, and the 2014 Special Olympics USA National Games will be held in Mercer County.
The Miss America Organization is one of the nation's leading achievement programs and the world's largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women. Last year, the Miss America Organization and its state and local organizations made available more than $45 million in scholarship assistance.
Source: Miss America Organization
Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan teamed up with Habitat for Humanity – New York City (Habitat-NYC) Friday, March 15, to participate in a day of service as part of her 2013 Homecoming Celebration. She was joined by fellow pageant contestants Skyler Kamaka (Miss Hawaii), Mariah Cary (Miss Iowa), Alicia Clifton (Miss Oklahoma), Ali Rogers (Miss South Carolina), Rosemary Willis (Miss Virginia), Shannon Oliver (Miss New York), and Alexis Madden (Miss Wyoming), as well as Rachel Wyatt (Miss America Outstanding Teen 2013).
Together, they helped paint and brighten the Corsi Senior Center in East Harlem, and made a positive impact on the lives of New Yorkers. Their volunteer work was part of a “Brush with Kindness” project, one of Habitat-NYC’s many community revitalization initiatives.
“The Miss America Organization’s commitment to giving back to the community is well-known, and Habitat-NYC is honored to have Miss America and her fellow contestants volunteer with us,” said Neil Hetherington, CEO of Habitat for Humanity – New York City. “Their hard work today will bring a brighter future for the hundreds of people who use the Corsi Senior Center. By building today, Miss America and each of the state representatives are leading by example and inspiring thousands of others to give back to their communities.”
“I am so proud today to be a part of the Habitat for Humanity – New York City event on behalf of the Miss New York Scholarship Organization and The Miss America Organization to celebrate our day of service. It’s so rewarding to see the revitalization of the Corsi Senior Center, which is such a wonderful environment for New Yorkers who use the center. The Miss America Organization has a long history of volunteering and community service. And I am so happy to be continuing this great tradition,” stated Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan.
Habitat for Humanity – New York City is the largest builder of Habitat homes in the Northeast, and thousands of volunteers build with Habitat-NYC each year. Each homebuyer contributes at least two hundred volunteer hours as part of his or her partnership.
About Habitat for Humanity – New York City
Habitat for Humanity – New York City transforms lives and our city by building quality homes for families in need and by uniting all New Yorkers around the cause of affordable housing. With the help of thousands of volunteers every year, Habitat-NYC has built more than two hundred sixty affordable homes in the five boroughs of New York City. To volunteer, donate, or learn more, visit Habitatnyc.org or call 212-991-4000. Contact Carly Blatt at 212-991-4000, ext. 344, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Valerie Clemens
Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2013 Rachel Wyatt visited New York City over the weekend, for Miss America's Homecoming Celebration. On Friday she visited GMA Live, an online segment of Good Morning America hosted by ABC's Josh Elliott, Lara Spencer, and Sam Champion. Rachel was seen by viewers during an interview with the reigning Miss America, Mallory Hagan. Click here to view Friday's segment featuring Rachel.
During her trip to NYC, Rachel also visited the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge, and attended the Broadway show, Breakfast at Tiffany's. In addition to sightseeing, Rachel met with more than fifty children at the "Miss America & Me" youth leadership breakfast and spoke at the welcome reception for Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan's Homecoming celebration.
To keep up with Rachel's travels, please visit her blog at www.maoteen.org/blog.
Source and photos: MAOTeen
In 2014, Donna Axum Whitworth will celebrate her fiftieth anniversary of being crowned Miss America 1964. But she never strayed far away from the crown. In fact, she is more involved than ever, especially as of 2004, when she was voted onto the Miss America Organization board of directors—the first former titleholder to hold the post.
As first vice chairman of the board and a member of the state license committee and judges committee, Donna is responsible for overseeing just about every aspect of the comings and goings of local, state, and national competitions. Most recently, at the 2013 Miss America pageant, Donna coordinated the judges panel that chose Mallory Hagan as the current titleholder. On the state licensing committee, Donna works to ensure that every pageant, no matter how small, is in line with the rules and regulations set forth by the organization. Above all, Donna ensures that the educational component of MAO is carried through from coast to coast. “The educational component is really what drives us,” she said. “The future of our country is dependent upon the excellence we can create in these women.”
When she is not dedicating her time to work with MAO, Donna is working to enhance art appreciation. She serves on six boards related to performing arts and arts education, including the Texas Women for the Arts, an organization Donna established and founded. The organization provides grants for various art institutions, to further their endeavors. The concept is simple, Donna said: With each $1,000 membership fee, members are given one vote, and during an annual meeting, they are presented with grant proposals completed by various arts organizations located across the country. From these proposals, members vote, and grants are bestowed. “We’ve been in existence for five years, and we are nearing the $800,000 mark in grants awarded to the arts.”
Donna also helps to coordinate annual ladies’ trips throughout the United States, to visit museums, orchestras, symphonies, and performances. Most recently during a trip to El Paso, Donna’s group watched a children’s performance that brought tears to her eyes. “It’s the most fascinating thing I’ve seen,” she said. The performance was a combination of song and dance, and included four hundred students displaying “all positive things kids need to learn.” After the show, Donna asked organizers how the students were able to work together and transition through the performance so flawlessly. The secret, they said, was using sign language to cue the students. “It was a beautiful example of the impact the arts have on not only the education of the individual,” Donna, “but self-confidence kids have in themselves from belonging to that group.”
Art is extremely important to Donna, who could hardly fathom a world without it. “Can you imagine any national ceremony without musical instrumentation?” asks Donna, who has been singing her entire life. (She began in the church choir and performed her talent on the Miss America stage.) “Every aspect of our lives is impacted by and represented through music and the arts. It’s the expression of our human existence. It’s how history was recorded on the cave walls.”
Stay up to date with more Miss America Organization celebrities in every issue of fourpoints magazine!
Written by: Erika Fifelski, fourpoints staff writer
Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan visited the Amway Corporation headquarters this week where she got to make her very own lipstick—a color she named "Crown Hytes." There's a crown on my head, and Hytes is my middle name, Mallory said. Learning what goes into making custom lipstick colors was "super fun," Mallory said. Amway sent Mallory away with the lipstick she created, and although there was a lot that went on behind the scenes she didn't know about before, there is one rule Mallory lives by when it comes to lipstick. "You can never have your lipstick too shiny," she said.
Click here to watch the video of Mallory's lipstick-making experience!
All eyes are on you. The lights are shining and the music starts. Your well-practiced routine begins. The talent competition is a vital part of any pageant; it displays the dedication and technique of individual contestants. But it also exemplifies style: What you wear to display your talent could make or break the performance. Take the advice of costume designer Theresa Adams, and choose something that will make you proud—and comfortable—in the spotlight.
The first step in choosing a talent costume is to consider your music. Is it a slow beat or a quick tempo? Will the song remind judges and audience members of anything? “You want to interpret the music without being too literal or too obvious,” Adams said. For example, if your talent is dancing an Irish jig, you don’t necessarily have to deck yourself out in an all-green, shamrock-covered outfit. If the music is Latin-inspired, don’t limit yourself to red and black fabrics. “Interpret your music more loosely, to show more creativity.”
Another tip to keep in mind is to choose a costume that fits your body type. If you have a small waist and fuller hips, Adams suggests avoiding anything that will synch the waist and flare at the hips, such as a full skirt or a short hot pant. Instead, “accentuate your positives. What are your most popular elements? If you have elegant hands, hold your hands in a way that makes them stand out throughout your talent. Point your fingers, or wear rhinestones or anything that draws attention to the hands.”
Above all, Adams notes it is important to feel comfortable and confident in your costume. How you look will affect your performance. “If she knows she looks amazing, it’s going to boost her confidence,” Adams said of contestants.
For more fashion advice, subscribe to fourpoints magazine!
Written by: Erika Fifelski, fourpoints staff writer
Miss America's Outstanding Teen is pleased to announce that registration for the 2013 Teens in Training Camp is now being offered at a discounted rate. This limited-time offer runs March 1 through 31, and provides registration for just $500. Click here to reserve your spot now!
Teens in Training Camp is a four-day workshop open to all girls, ages thirteen to seventeen, who wish to improve upon skills that will help them become confident, poised, and prepared leaders among their peers. Daylong professional workshops and training sessions include:
Participation also includes:
MAOTeen is also pleased to announce that registration for the 2013 Princess Camp is now being offered at a discounted rate. This limited-time offer runs March 1 through 31, and provides registration for just $500. Click here to reserve your spot now!
Princess Camp is designed for girls ages five to twelve who are looking to improve upon skills that promote self-confidence and poise, and who seek mentoring from today's young teen leaders. Participants will have the opportunity to attend:
Participation also includes:
Source: Miss America’s Outstanding Teen
Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan welcomed “MLB Fan Cave: World Baseball Classic Edition” winners to New York this week. Mallory joined some of baseball’s most notable personalities to begin the 2013 season: Bill Ripken, MLB network analyst and 2009 World Baseball Classic Team USA coach; Dan Plesac, MLB network analyst; and Tim Brosnan, executive vice president, business, Major League Baseball.
Winning fans represented the sixteen countries and territories participating in the World Baseball Classic. The premier international baseball tournament features Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Spain, United States, and Venezuela.
As part of the eighteen-day “MLB Fan Cave: World Baseball Classic Edition,” the winners will cheer on their nation while watching every game of the Classic live, at all hour. Fans of the final four teams will travel to San Francisco, California, for the World Baseball Classic Championship Round.
Mallory’s love for baseball will receive additional exposure when she performs “God Bless America” for the Atlanta Braves MLB home opener on Monday, April 1.
Source and photo: Miss America Organization