When she talks about her platform, Miss Alabama 2012 Anna Laura Bryan tears up. And it is with this passion that she describes her love of working with autistic children and animals in hope of a more productive and enlightened future for all who are allowed service dogs in the classroom.
MAOTeen's Princess Camp is pleased to announce So Sweet Boutique as its 2013 presenting sponsor. Located in the heart of Central Florida, minutes away from Orlando, So Sweet Boutique offers a large selection of girls pageant dresses, miss pageant dresses, prom gowns, homecoming dresses, communion gowns, and flower girl dresses.
Get ready for the upcoming pageant season with the second annual Pageant Bootcamp in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Get yourself into shape with presentations, breakout sessions, mock interviews, head shots, and more. Keynote speaker and 2013 Miss America judge Katie Stam Irk helps attendees become their best selves. Choose among breakout sessions on everything from hair and makeup to stage presence to what judges are looking for.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
IPFW Campus, 2101 E. Coliseum Blvd.
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46805
9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
$55 per person in advance*
Attendees 16 and younger must be accompanied by an adult
*Special packages available. E-mail MissNortheastAppearances@gmail.com for more information or for a registration form.
Attendees of the event will rotate through the following breakout sessions:
Hair and Makeup – Learn age-appropriate hair styles and makeup techniques for interview and stage.
Modeling and Walking – Stage presence is everything. Walk the runway and get immediate assistance and feedback.
Wardrobe Selection – What style gown is best for your body type? Learn tips for selecting your perfect competition wardrobe.
What Judges Look For – Get the inside scoop on what judges are looking for so that you can put your best foot forward.
In addition to these sessions, speakers will present their expertise on all the essential pageant-ready topics.
Meet the Presenters:
Fernando and Michelle Fernandez
Owners of The Hair Dept. specialize in hair and makeup for special events.
MIss Indiana USA 2013 and former Miss America Organization titleholder. Emily competes for the title of Miss USA in June.
Miss Indiana 2008 and former Indianapolis Colts Cheerleader, who went bald for a cause on national TV.
Miss Indiana 2009 and 2010 Miss America finalist. She earned praise for her excellent interview skills.
Ashley (Tucker) Swathwood
Former titleholder and owner of Ashely Rene's one-stop pageant shop in Elkhart, Indiana.
Shop – Ashley Rene's of Elkhart will set up shop in the ballroom.
Head shots – Willyum Photography is offering a fifteen minute photo session for $30
Private Mock Interview Session – Get critiqued in a private mock interview session for $20
Head shot and mock interview sessions will take place during break out sessions.
Find out more by e-mailing MissNortheastAppearances@gmail.com.
Source: Miss IPFW and Miss Northeast Scholarship pageants
In a town of just seven thousand residents, the Miss Kansas annual pageant is something of a grand affair. In 2013, Pratt will celebrate fifty-eight years of hosting the event.
Cody, Wyoming, is best known for “Buffalo Bill” Cody (its namesake) and for its outdoor rodeo. The town’s cowboys and cowgirls learn to ride from a young age, and are comfortable in their Western wear. Miss Wyoming’s Outstanding Teen Jessica Power is no exception. She may be stylish and know how to work the stage in heels and a crown, but this girl is a straight-shooting advocate for all four points of the crown, especially service.
Jessica’s platform, bullying and cyberbullying among preteens and teens, puts her on the front lines of her school’s anti-bullying policies. She makes herself available to other students who may experience or witness bullying. Her peers know they could come to her for guidance, anytime. Jessica’s biggest piece of advice? Don’t try to battle bullying alone. Get others, especially trusted adults, involved right away. It’s what saved her life.
Parents “know you best and know how to comfort you. They’re always there to listen,” Jessica said. “Also, talk to someone of a higher power, like a teacher, a principal, the superintendent, or police, and try to get it resolved. As long as you report it, everyone is aware, and they’ll know how to stop it.”
Jessica knows her platform is more than a passing ship. It’s something increasing numbers of students are experiencing every day, at younger ages than ever before. Even her kindergarten-aged cousin experienced bullying. That’s why Jessica is using her work to get the attention of higher authorities. She says reform is needed, to stop the problem before it begins, and adds that there need to be more rules in place to inhibit bullies from striking. Bullies “get in trouble, but not to the extent it should be,” she notes. “I believe one hundred percent that the only way we’ll be able to get it to stop is by working along those lines. In my opinion, we need to bring the government to recognition of bullying in Wyoming. We need to figure out a way to handle this situation.”
But Jessica won’t stop there. To continue her advocacy against this harmful trend, she aims to get a degree in family law and work with children who are rarely given the voice they need when suffering from all forms of bullying—emotional, verbal, and physical. As a two-year-old, Jessica was sexually abused by a former family member, and that first hand experience solidifies her need to ensure children have every opportunity to stand up for their rights.
“I believe every child should have a voice when it comes to being abused,” Jessica said.
Read more about Jessica and other Miss America Organization contestants when you subscribe to fourpoints!
Written by: Erika Fifelski, fourpoints staff writer, Photo: Jenn Cady
New York City is famous for it’s big city dreams and bustling downtown streets. It’s also the location (Staten Island, to be specific) of the Miss New York Organization competition each year. But beyond the city lights lies a state full of optimistic contestants who enter local pageants, hoping for a piece of the action and a chance to become part of the Miss America Organization’s sisterhood. The Miss New York Organization’s board of directors is working to ensure every corner of the state is covered and represented, especially in times of great need.
Mentorship is another important function of the New York organization. Miss New York’s Outstanding Teen Executive Director Linda Monte is leading this effort to help strengthen the bond between Teen and Miss “sisters.”
“I would like to see the teens have a chance to learn from the people who have most recently competed and are closer to their age,” Linda said. Past contestants have a unique vantage point from which teens could take full advantage in coming competitions. “There is so much we can do to help them learn about their own strengths and to maximize the experience for everyone who gets involved.”
Maximizing potential is something at which New York excels. Linda notes that no two titleholders are the same, and through the organization, young women have the opportunity to develop skills and discover individual potential for competition and beyond. “The most important aspect of the program is to allow young women to test their wings, meet, and work with others in their community, and earn and explore aspects of their own development which they might not otherwise exercise.”
What’s more, the Miss New York Organization gives contestants—even those who never wear the crown—a sense of something greater than themselves. Linda quotes Miss New York 2011, Kaitlin Monte, in saying, “Only one girl each year is crowned Miss America, but everyone can become Miss America.” That, Linda says, proves that it doesn’t require a title to gain the experiences distinct to MAO.
Find out more about former Miss New York 2012 and Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan in the April issue of fourpoints!
Written by: Erika Fifelski, fourpoints staff writer
With a gasp of breath or a shrill squeal of joy, Miss America Organization contestants and titleholders across the country see dreams of higher education come to life with each and every scholarship they receive. In the Miss Oregon Scholarship Organization, the newly crowned and veteran titleholders alike are putting their scholarship dollars to use—even decades after they walk across the stage.
Lynette Boggs, Miss Oregon 1989, will never forget competing at the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City. And although the event took place nearly half her lifetime ago, the scholarships she won through Oregon’s local and state pageants and at the national level were indispensable to her graduate degree in the ‘90s and her recently acquired law degree. Lynette’s monetary awards were used to see her through graduate studies at the University of Oregon’s journalism college. But as recently as May 2012, Lynette saw her experiences—made possible because of MAO and MOSO—come full circle as she walked across a different stage, now a graduate of law.
“I can tell you that my writing skills and my ability to be able be an effective writer go all the way back to that experience where I was able use my scholarship to study journalism. It’s all tied together. And even though twenty-three years have elapsed, I’m still reaping the benefits of having had those educational scholarship dollars that Miss Oregon and Miss America provided for me,” Lynette said. “It was an investment in my future that came back in multiple returns.”
Starting a new career mid-life also required courage and support, both things Lynette came by because of MAO. The relationships she made with those in her class stood the test of time, and her “sister lawyers” were with her through the ups and downs of law school.
“They were some of my biggest cheerleaders as I went through my law school experience in my forties,” Lynette said.
Written by: Erika Fifelski, fourpoints staff writer
McKenzi Novell, Miss Spokane 2012, now holds the world record for the longest standing female Salvation Army bell ringer. She stood outside in the cold weather without eating, sitting, or sleeping for 52.5 hours—all while continuously ringing the red handheld bell.
The last female record holder made it twenty-seven hours. The current world record is held by three men who went seventy-nine hours.
In Spokane, the bell ringing competition was called the "last man standing" between the "beauty" and the "beast." Miss Spokane—the beauty—won the competition after Spokane Salvation Army Captain Kyle—the beast—conceded at fifty-one hours. Marcus Riccelli, incoming Washington State Representative from the third legislative district, also competed against Miss Spokane and Captain Kyle. Riccelli stood for fourteen hours before he conceded.
Miss Spokane and Captain Kyle raised approximately $10,000. The competition began at 5 a.m. on Thursday, December 20, and ended on Saturday, December 22. The competition was initiated as a last minute fundraiser for the Salvation Army after reports of donations being lower than expected.
Source: Cheri Moore Photo 1: Chris Bornhoft
To know Miss Ohio, Elissa McCracken, as a middle school student, very few people would have predicted her January 2013 participation in the Miss America Competition. An excellent student although extremely shy, a self-proclaimed “band geek” who wore glasses and battled with bad skin, Elissa kept to herself and locked herself in her room to cry regularly and secretly for two years because of the hateful instant messenger taunts she received almost daily. The experience shook her self-confidence to the core. With help, Elissa found a way to beat the bullies—in a manner that changed her life.
Within the past two years, as a result of her participation in the Miss Ohio Scholarship Program (and specifically the local Miss West Central Scholarship Program), Elissa has been able to promote her “Stop Cyberbullying” platform and share both her life-changing story and practical techniques anyone could use to address and put a stop to their own cyberbullying experiences. “I have devoted myself to the commitment that I would help others to avoid the intimidation, humiliation, and embarrassment that I endured,” Elissa said.
Elissa has also worked to create public service announcements on her important platform. The Partnership for Violence Free Families and the high school students from Lancaster City Schools have worked with her to prepare these PSAs for broadcast, locally and statewide.
Having just completed her third year of the rigorous six-year pharmacy school program at Ohio Northern University, Elissa is in pursuit of a doctorate in pharmacy. However, she plans to continue spreading the anti-cyberbullying message in the future, for years to come.
To read the full story, click here to order a copy of the December/January 2012-13 fourpoints.
Written by: Leslie Townsend
Miss Kansas’ Outstanding Teen board of directors takes volunteering as a family unit seriously. Lisa Ronen and her two daughters, Becki Ronen Walenz and Mandy Ronen, have shared the struggles and successes of their extended pageant family since 2010. They value each other as individuals as well as members of a team.
“I love the saying, ‘It takes a village’ as I think this concept applies to not only the pageant but life in general,” says Lisa, the executive director of Miss Kansas’ Outstanding Teen. “A family, village, or team is vitally important to the success of any organization. A team should be more efficient than all of the individuals put together.”
Each of the Ronen women has been able to hone her individual skill set in order that the Kansas organization can benefit. Lisa entered the world of MAO in 1976 when her sister was named first runner up to Miss Kansas. Lisa herself advanced to the state competition’s Top Ten in 1979, and six years later, she became the director of her local pageant. Through the years, she’s held just about every volunteer role possible including pageant mom. Mandy competed first, but it was Becki who clenched the role as Miss Kansas 2009. Not much for sibling rivalry, Mandy stepped into the role of volunteer instead of contestant.
“We never wanted to compete against each other,” Mandy says.
Thanks to this familial lesson, although competition is a reality for contestants, Mandy, who produces the show and recruits contestants, is able to help her Kansas teens enter into each year for the right reasons–service and scholarship–not just simple to win a crown.
But thanks to the crown on her head, Becki lends support to constants that only a titleholder can give. While she lives in New York, she still lends emotional and practical support to those preparing for the stage.
“Becki has national experience from participating in the Miss America pageant and understands the organization better than anyone,” Lisa says. “Because of Becki’s experience and the support she received, her desire to give back to an organization that gave her so much is great…. Her knowledge is very valuable to our continued success.”
It is with great care and much heart that scholarship organizations across the country continue to bloom after decades of existence. This kind of success comes from the united mission of volunteers to hasten young women into the world around them as well-rounded and dedicated citizens. Like a mother who dreams to see her daughter succeed, the volunteers of MAO dream to see the goals of their contestants come into reality.
Read more about the Miss Kansas Organization and the volunteer efforts of co-executive director Lisa Miller in the February issue of fourpoints! Subscribe today!
Written by: Erika Fifelski, fourpoints staff writer