Pageant programs have the unique opportunity to provide role models. Contestants are successful, well spoken, committed to their communities and education, and passionate about giving back. What better representatives to teach young girls about increasing sense of self worth, improving perspective toward education, helping develop and define short-term and long-term goals, providing support and encouragement, and helping girls to become self-sufficient, motivated adults?
At the same time, a princess program can be a solid fundraiser for your pageant, but how does one go about starting a program? The following steps will help guide you through the process:
- Identify the need you are trying to meet. Are you creating a mentor program or a program that is purely designed for the participants to have fun on stage? Identify how involved the participants will be in all aspects of the organization and how participation will benefit them, the community and the program.
- Define the population that the program will best serve. Determine the age group that is best served by the need you have identified.
- Structure the program. Map out what participation in the program will look like. Identify the three Ps: the purpose, the parameters, and the people. How will you meet the identified need, what are the key activities that will be used, and who are the people that will direct those activities
- Define the nature of the mentoring sessions. Establish the ways in which participants will be mentored. Regardless of the setting, the core activity of mentoring is the development of relationships that will achieve program goals.
- Determine what the program will accomplish and what outcomes will result. This goes back to your purpose. List each of the program goals and the specific, desired results for each goal. The nature of your mentoring sessions will help determine the types of outcomes you want to achieve for the overall program and for all the participants.
It is important to treat the princess program as a separate "business." It must have its own goals, leadership, and focus. You are preparing your future contestants, volunteers, and leaders.
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Source: Stephen Frocchi Photo: John Wenger