As we prepare to say "goodbye" to this community, we want to leave you with some lasting tips and advice we've learned over the years.
1. Challenge Yourself: Whether in physical fitness, your platform, interview, or talent, push yourself to be the very best you can be. You can't live life from your comfort zone so push yourself to achieve what you might not think is possible. You may be surprised with the results.
2. Own Your Style: The Miss America pageants are about health and fitness, but remember that you are beautiful inside and out. Don't focus on what everyone else is wearing, be true to yourself, your likes, dislikes, and what looks best on you. And remember, a big smile and a sweet heart are what truly makes you beautiful.
3. Be Involved: As titleholders, you are young women who are looked up to. Get out in your community and be involved. Be creative when it comes to fundraising, but make sure your heart is in your work and to always put others first.
4. Socialize: Since social media is such an important part of today's society, make sure that you are professionally representing yourself when on social media. Also, keep your followers updated on all of the great things you're doing and thank them for being a part of your journey as a titleholder. They will greatly appreciate it!
5. Be Confident: Throughout the many years and articles we've written, confidence is one of the top things pageant judges look for when considering the next titleholder or Miss America. Every one of you is capable of so much, be confident in who you are and everything else will follow.
6. Say Yes to the Right Dress: Don't settle when it comes to picking your dresses for the pageants. Find the one that you feel stunning in and be confident that your gut choice in style is the right one.
7. Be a Hard Worker: It doesn't matter if you've been in pageants your whole life, or are just entering them for the first time, hard work and perseverance are the two keys to pushing yourself to new heights, making yourself stand out, and giving you unwavering confidence. These are some of the foundations that make a great person and potential Miss America.
8. Thank Your Family: Family is so important in this organization. Whether its your actual family, or your fellow contestants, your family and support group is so important and should be recognized on a daily basis for pushing you to be where you are now. We're all family in this organization, win or lose.
9. Share Your Passion: Whether its through your platform, or in your community service, you passion should be so apparent, that people will know you by what you do. Find your niche and stick with it. There's nothing more appealing than a strong, confident, young woman with a passion to make a difference in this world.
10. Represent: Striving to get a crown is a great goal, but unless you exemplify all four points on that crown, you are not worthy of it. Remember to always aim for success, be true to your individual style, be thankful for the scholarships you've been given, and serve others. This will not only get you far in the Miss America journey, but in life as well.
Thank you, each and every one of you, for your encouragement, belief, and passion. We hope to have made an impact on your personal journey with the Miss America Organization, because you’ve definitely made an impact on all of us at fourpoints.
Hello, again fourpoints readers!
I just wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you that take the time to read my blog posts. I think the amount of support within the Miss America Organization is great, and I am so thrilled to be involved with it!
Last week’s blog post was centered on my platform, Joining Forces. I had also mentioned that I was preparing for Miss Washington, my own state pageant. And for this week’s posting, I figured I would talk about just that: the Miss Washington pageant!
In 2009, I competed and won Miss Spokane’s Outstanding Teen, going on to Miss Washington’s Outstanding Teen, where I placed third runner-up, received the Preliminary Talent Award, People’s Choice Award, and Spokesmodel Award. Growing up an avid softball and basketball player, it was hard to believe that I was bitten by the pageant bug! I went on a three-year hiatus to gain some life experience, then I grabbed my heels, gown, and (this time!) swimsuit and grabbed the title of Miss Inland Empire for a one-way ticket to the Miss Washington stage.
And now it’s here: the moment I’ve been preparing so hard for these past few months. I would be absolutely lying to you if I didn’t say that I was a little bit nervous; but this is a great thing! My background in sports and theater have taught me to channel these nerves and throw them, wholeheartedly, into the pageant. I think the one thing I am the most excited for is the opportunity to talk about my platform at the state level: in front of judges from across the nation. I couldn’t have asked for a better stage to get the word out about Joining Forces! Although I’m nervous and excited, I know it will be the week of a lifetime, thanks to all of the hard work of the volunteers and Executive Directors, Peggy Miller and Patti Belik at Miss Washington. I’m grateful I’m not alone: I now have a list of twenty-one fabulous young women to call my sisters! Thanks for being such great friends, and I wish nothing but the best for all of us!
In the midst of exercising, talent rehearsals, walking rehearsals, and overall preparations for Miss Washington, I’ve also been preparing for the wonderful photo shoot opportunity I received this month, thanks to all of you! I cannot tell you how excited I am for this; my mom and I always travel together during the summer to embark on new adventures (American Idol, The Voice, The X-Factor). Our trips have taken us to more than fifteen different cities, and Detroit is one we have never been to; we’re glad we can add it to the list! It’s going to be so cool to work with the fourpoints photographer and have my hair and makeup done—I am SO ready to see the amazing ideas the people at fourpoints have come up with for the cover! I know I’ll LOVE IT!
In closing, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my posts thus far. I can’t wait for the issue to come out in August so you can really get to know me a little more! I am so blessed and so grateful for all of the opportunities I have been given, and I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without my family, friends, and the Miss Washington and Miss America Organizations! As I prepare myself for Miss Washington next week, keep me in your hearts and keep those fingers crossed! Thanks for reading—now go and enjoy the rest of your day!
As a recently recruited writer for the fourpoints team, I would like to take a moment to introduce myself to the members of the pageantry world. The exposure I had to the Miss America Organization prior to this position can be summed up by a handful of evenings spent watching the annual pageant, and a DVD copy of Miss Congeniality. But in the short weeks I've been writing, I have come into contact with contestants, volunteers, Executive Directors, and parents who are true advocates for the organization.
I got into writing because it is my heartfelt belief that everyone has a story to tell. Writing, however, can sometimes be daunting, and that's where I come in. If I can encounter someone, listen to their experiences, and craft an article that exemplifies their passion, then I have succeeded. The people I have interviewed so far for the upcoming issue of fourpoints have fierce affection for MAO, and frankly, they are making my job easy. I hope our fourpoints readers will be as inspired by them as I already am.
I still get starry eyed talking to Miss States over the phone, and my knees are weak just preparing to interview Miss America Laura Kaeppeler in the coming weeks, but to all participants in the Miss America Organization, I am truly looking forward to this opportunity to share in your joys and journeys to scholarship, success, style and service.
Erika Fifelski joined the Serendipity Media, LLC team in August 2011. Before that she wrote for a daily newspaper in Northeast Michigan. She has a degree in journalism from Michigan State University, and if she had to choose, her platform would involve advocating for urban farming and food sovereignty.
I recently celebrated 5 years with fourpoints magazine, and I am incredibly thankful for continued chance I have to get to know all of you, tell your stories, and hopefully help you in your pageant endeavors.
I am thankful to all the people who help me with stories, send in photos, and keep me going with their accolades, suggestions, and questions.
What are you thankful for?
Welcome to our new MAOTeen Elizabeth Fechtel! And welcome home to me! Now that I'm back in the office and have my desk cleaned off (that's no small task, trust me) , let's talk about MAOTeen. What a great week! I hope that you guys stayed in touch with the pageant happenings through our Twitter, Facebook, and all the articles/videos on the web. In case you couldn't tell, fourpoints had a total blast during pageant week! Every year, it's so inspiring to see our relationship with MAOTeen grow. And each class of contestants is just as wonderful as the last.
Another of of the best things about MAOTeen is that I get a "sneak peek" at the 2012 Miss America contestants. I had the pleasure of chatting with our Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan while she signed autographs at our booth during pageant week. She was as lovely as ever. It's so impressive to me to see a Miss America about halfway through her year of service, and she is as fresh and cheerful as the day she was crowned. Every reigning Miss America I have ever met has been that way, and - well, let's just say that I don't think I would be so pleasant! It was nice to have a moment to talk with Teresa.
I also got to do one of my favorite things, which is have my makeup done by an Aristrty professional. I am seriously in love with their products - and I'm not just saying that! He even managed to make me look believably tan - a true artist!
Of course, the most exciting part of the week is seeing our new MAOTeen crowned. Elizabeth is going to do a great job and I can't wait for you guys to see her on the cover of the October/November issue.
As a final note, though, I want to extend my congratulations and affection to the entire MAOTeen class. Time and time again, I find myself thinking that every contestant who competes really wins. As Donna Bozarth mentioned during pageant week, MAOTeen has already written half a million dollars in scholarship checks. And those didn't go to just the winners of the national pageant. So many young women are stepping into their future with scholarship money, a great skill set, and an unforgettable experience.
During pageant week, I had the chance to speak to some of the contestants. They all had wonderful things to say, but one thing has stuck with me. Miss New Hampshire's Outstanding Teen Lauren Percy gave MAOTeen the highest accolades it could ever receive. She said, "This organization has give me the confidence to take my make-up off and just be who I am."
I hope that every young lady had the same experience that Lauren did.
We are pleased to announce that fourpoints was the first recipient of the newly minted Footprints Award at the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen pageant this month.
Kim Parrish, President of MAOTeen, presented the award to Jennifer Reeves and Julie Anne Long at the Evening of Stars event during pageant week.
“We have enjoyed watching our relationship with fourpoints grow over the years,” said Kim. “Whenever we go to fourpoints with an idea, they are ready and willing to help us make it happen.”
In addition to sponsoring the tradeshow at the pageant, fourpoints presented at the Teens in Training Camp seminar. Serendipity Publishing also designed the 2012 program book for Miss America’s Outstanding Teen.
“We are extremely honored to have received this award,” said Kasie Smith, president and publisher of Serendipity Publishing. “Our relationship with MAOTeen has only improved over the last seven years, and we look forward to working with them in the future.”
This morning, our reigning Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2011 Lacey Russ took some time to sign autographs at our tradeshow booth. I also had a few moments to chat with her about her year of service and her advice to the next MAOTeen.