fourpoints Magazine

The #1 Resource for Everything Miss America & MAOTeen

Find Your Inner 'It Factor'

Thursday, 07 June 2012 15:15

SuccessPicWith state pageants starting, hundreds of young women across the country are working toward the goal of representing their state at Miss America. They tweak their wardrobes, rehearse their talents, polish their interview skills, facilitate community service projects, and raise money for charities dear to them, including Children’s Miracle Network. As they balance school, work, and preparation, they all search for the perfect formula. What will set them apart and give them the ever illusive “it factor” that so many of our favorite Miss America contestants exude?

The “it factor” is a very subjective, undefined quality that some believe you either have or you don’t. It’s something you know you are in the presence of as soon as you see it. But you can develop your own personal “it factor” by following some of these tips:

Embrace service above self. Community service can be a life altering experience that chances who you are at your very core. Service to others allows us to see the world through the eyes of people from various walks of life. It is fun to shine onstage, but it is even more rewarding to make a difference in someone else’s life.

Keep a journal. Journaling helps you sort your thoughts and feelings on various topics. Not only may it help you eliminate lingering self-doubt, it can also help you develop your interview skills as you reflect on current events and personal memories. Journaling helps you organize your thoughts so when you speak in an interview setting, you deliver answers in a clear and concise manner.

Embrace your individuality. It won’t do you any good to compare yourself to others. This process is about achieving your personal best. Develop a relationship with yourself, embrace who you are, and let people get to know you in a genuine way.

The Miss America crown is a symbol that represents service, style, scholarship, and success. Allow this symbol to be a reminder of the standard of excellence we have come to expect in a Miss America.

For more tips on finding your inner “it factor,” subscribe to fourpoints!

Screen_Shot_2012-06-04_at_2.10.42_PMJoin the Miss Oakland County Scholarship Pageant for a good meal and fundraising this week. Pageant participants will receive a percentage of the proceeds from meals purchased Wednesday, June 6 from 4-8 p.m. at the Walled Lake Big Boy at 800 N Pontiac Trail Road.

Mention to your waitress that you are visiting for the Miss America/Miss Oakland County Pageant to designate a portion of your bill for the scholarship organization.

Visit the Miss Oakland County Scholarship Organization website for more details!

The next Miss Oakland County will be July 14 at the Costick Center in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

Source and photo: Miss Oakland County

BeckiWalenz-8695Three Miss America sisters planned a little family reunion that culminated in the use of pageant skills, platform enhancement, and sisterly love. The project was a CD of exclusive trumpet tracks recorded by Becki Ronen Walenz, Miss Kansas 2009, for classical music students. The collaboration was essential.

When Becki moved to New York to continue her musical education, she was a small fish in a big pond. She’d never lived anywhere but Kansas, but since she did know Claire Buffie, Miss New York 2010, she didn’t feel so alone. Becki developed the idea for the CD through a class project.

“The music on it has never been recorded ever…I wanted to do music that nobody had really touched, that was music kids are playing today all over the country. I did a lot of research to make sure I was choosing music relevant to the kids all over the U.S. and all over the world,” Becki said.

But Becki needed help. She got in touch with Claire and asked her to be the photographer on the project. Claire studied movement to learn how to anticipate her clients’ body language and translate it onto film. She also has experience photography MAO titleholders, and she said her style captures a more relatable subject.

“I knew in the photo I wanted to look a certain way, nothing too crazy, but something that my Miss America class would be proud of. I knew, who better than someone who has been in my shoes than a state title holder?” Becki said.

BeckiWalenz-9137The third piece to the puzzle was Jen Corey, Miss D.C. 2009. She was on scene the day of the CD cover shoot to get Becki’s hair and make up ready for her album look. Like Claire, there is a rawness to Jen’s technique in styling, and she wanted Becki to look as natural as possible.

For each of the girls, coming together to work on a project of this magnitude was meaningful not just because of its service to the students, but also because of the relationships that were strengthened between Miss America sisters.

“It was really important for me to help support the other girls because we share a bond like no other,” Jen said.

Read how the other state titleholders helped Becki by subscribing to fourpoints

Miss Moberly Claim to Fame

Wednesday, 23 May 2012 09:26
moberly_muralEven after seventy-five years, Moberly still recognizes their claim to fame with Miss Missouri–SMILES!

This painting of Mary Sue Klein, Miss Missouri 1937, is on the side of a building in uptown Moberly. A similar picture of Mary Sue was in the Moberly Centennial Book which depicted her her standing on the diving board in swimsuit and sash.

To the right of Mary Sue is five-star General Omar Bradley.

Source: Erma Jean Armstrong, Miss Moberly Co-Executive Director


Miss Bay County Makes MAO History

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 09:23

miss_bay_countyThis June Miss Bay County, Alicia McInerney, will make history at Miss Michigan, presenting a talent that has never before graced the stage.  Alicia will make her mark in the history books by figure skating for the talent portion of the Miss Michigan competition–a first in the history of the Miss America Organization.

“I’ve said since the first time I competed in Miss Bay County, if I make it to Miss Michigan, I want to skate,” says Alicia.

This June Alicia will step out onto a sheet of synthetic ice determined to wow the judge’s panel and audience as she represents Bay County and vise for the title of Miss Michigan 2012.

Growing up Alicia was a competitive figure skater for more than ten years, training locally at the Bay County Civic Arena. Alicia says that rink is a part of who she is. 

“The first time I ever stepped foot onto a rink was at the Civic Arena. I didn’t realize then what it would come to mean to me,” comments Alicia. 

Over the course of her skating career Alicia went on to compete internationally and was ranked eighth in the Midwest in the United States Figure Skating Future Champions Series. Alicia’s skating is taking on a new life through her year as Miss Bay County. Alicia’s passion for skating also led to her platform, Ignite the Passion Within–a movement focused on encouraging young people to find their passion and use it to build a better life. Click here to find out more about the Miss Bay County Organization and Alicia’s journey to Miss Michigan and Ignite the Passion Within.

Source: Linda Bilhimer

Newly Crowned, Always Ready

Saturday, 05 May 2012 11:59

Miss Washington County 2012 Twila Tschan takes Newberg, Oregon’s motto to heart. From a young age, she understood that her hometown “is a Great Place to Grow.” The newly crowned titleholder has seen her share of adversity and meets challenges head-on.


In 2011, Twila and her family received the shocking news that the pain she had been experiencing off and on since high school was caused by a cancerous tumor near her spine. They were told that immediate removal of this synovial sarcoma was necessary, but the surgery would leave Twila permanently without function or feeling in her left hand. Twila went home and changed her Facebook status to: “Already have the title of my memoir:  Coming to Grips: How One Woman Single-Handedly Saved the World. Miraculously, two surgeries, six weeks of radiation, and months of physical therapy later, she has basic use of her left hand and is now a one-year cancer survivor.


From this experience, Twila gained a deep understanding of the challenges families of children with severe medical problems face. Through involvement in the Miss America Program and the opportunity to promote the Children’s Miracle Network, Twila is excited to spend her year as Miss Washington County supporting children and families as they hope for their own miracle.


Twila has been a featured speaker and performer at various fundraising and awareness events, most notably at the Bowl’s Reading and Literacy day which awards more than $19,000 in Savings Bonds to fifth-graders who demonstrate proficiency in reading and writing. It was from these events that Twila was inspired to adopt Read Across America as her personal platform, and hopes to encourage the love and joy of reading as Miss Washington County 2012.


Last summer, Twila was selected to participate in a Quaker United Nations Office program in Geneva, Switzerland, where she was able to confer with various ambassadors and other high-level officials, as well as experience firsthand the inner workings of the United Nations, the U.N. Human Rights Committee, the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.


Twila’s plans for the future include attending graduate school in either law or diplomacy, and working for the United Nations, the U.S. State Department, or a humanitarian NGO. Before writing the next chapter, however, Twila is looking forward to seeing how the story of Miss Washington County unfolds.


Source and photo: Miss Washington County Scholarship Organization

indiana_pageant_boot_campThe Miss Northeast and Miss IPFW scholarship programs in Indiana are helping contestants get into pageant shape at Pageant Boot camp: Bling Sweat and Tears. The day-long seminar is May 20 in Fort Wayne.

Speakers and sessions will help contestants be their best, competitive self. Keynote speaker Katie Stam Irk, Miss America 2009 is the first Miss Indiana to become Miss America, and she'll detail her year of service for audience members. Jim Robbins of Image Improvement will also speak at the seminar focusing on interview preparation.

A number of sessions will teach contestants to hone their skills in health and wellness, etiquette and appearances, makeup, modeling, walking, and interview. A panel will host a Q&A session. The panel includes Miss Indiana 2011 Jackie Jerlecki, Miss Indiana's Outstanding Teen Brianna DeCamp, Miss Indiana 2009 Nicole Pollard, Miss Indiana 2008 Megan Meadors along with former titleholders and directors.

Click here to download an event brochure, or for more information about the boot camp or to sign up, e-mail the Miss Northeast Scholarship Program.

Source and photo: Miss Northeast Scholarship Pageant Program

dream_academy_galaEach year the U.S. Dream Academy's Power of a Dream Gala attracts and recognizes celebrities, political figures, corporate executives, community leaders, and this year Miss America Royalty. National titleholder Laura Kaeppeler was honored this week by the academy for her personal platform work with children of incarcerated parents.

To date, the gala event has raised $11 million for educational means to address children of incarcerated parents. The mission of the Dream Academy is to make a difference for at-risk children of incarcerated parents. The academy is an afterschool program that offers academic and learning opportunities to engage children and help them realize goals and ambitions.

Among others recognized at this year's gala were Lars Houmann, President & CEO Florida Hospital; Mark Ingram, Jr., Heisman Trophy Winner New Orleans Saints of the National Football League; Hilton O. Smith, Sr. Vice-President, Community Affairs Turner Construction Company; George Allen "Pat" Summerall, Former National Football League Player and Television Sportscaster; and Kathy Victor, Board of Directors Chairman, Independent Business Owners Association International.

Source and photo: MAO

Get the Perfect Smoky Eye

Friday, 27 April 2012 09:05

Smoky_EyeEyes are enhanced by attention, and a little bit of smokiness. The smoky-eye look has been around for quite a while. However, that doesn't mean the look is out of style. It's as popular today as it ever has been.

But for the smoky-eye style, a little goes a long way, and too much color or too dark a shadow can take your eyes awawy from attractive and drop them into a Tim Burton movie.

Everybody is different, some people like the really dramatic effect, but, as noted, this can go over-the-top. A more natural look can be more appealing.

The key is color matching, meaning your eye color, not your outfit. Freelance makeup artist Renata Stojcevski says women can enhance their natural eye color with the color of shadow around the eyes.

"The biggest misconception is, 'I have blue eyes, I should wear blue eye shadow," but it does nothing for eye. Shadow smoky brown makes (blue) eyes pop even more," Renata says.

For green eyes, shades of brown, copper, and rust "intensify the eye color," and brown eyes look best coupled with plums, and greens.

To give the eye a smoky look, follow these steps:

"I start in the outer corner with a campaign color across the lid, and do a little smoke in the crease," Renata says. Everyone's eyes are different, and some look better with a more intense smoky eye, whereas women with smaller eyes will benefit from less intense colors.

"If (the eye) is big and bold, use intense color all over the lid. If they're little, and small, do the smoky within the crease…I always start out with the crease, then do all of the eye," Renata says.

Champagne colors should be used on the lid to the brow line. Dab color into the crease and blend from there. The color should be well blended and smoothed around the eye, not just on the lid, Renata suggests.

"A smoky eye doesn't mean all the color is packed on the lid. It depends on the eye shape," she says. Blend the color across the lid to the outer corner of the eye to give it a cat-like look, or for something less intense, stay within the confines of the crease and outer corner.

Subscribe to fourpoints to learn how to finish the look. Click here to get more tips from Artistry by Amway.

Photo: Heidi Eckert

Delaware ED Knows How to Work Hard

Friday, 20 April 2012 16:24

IMG_1077When a young woman approached Debi Wilson at her gym in 1984 and asked her to chaperone a week of pageants, Debi didn't realize that her participation would lead to twenty-nine more years of service with the Miss Delaware Pageant.

Today, Debi has held several years worth of board positions, and this past April, she was voted in for her fourth term as executive director.

"It was overwhelming, and sometimes it still is," says the Wilmington native. But she wouldn't trade her time spent with the contestants.

Sitting in the audience watching the contestant for whom she chaperoned walk across the state, she was hooked.

"My life has been changed for the better by knowing and working with each and every Miss Delaware. It truly is a family."

"It all came together when I saw her on stage. I thought, this is all about making her feel her best, win or lose, as long as she feels her best," she says.

Debi officially kicked off her work in the organization in 1985 when she was asked to be an auxiliary board member, a role she played for two years. In 1987, she became a "full-fledged" board member, which gave her voting rights on things like fundraising ideas, scholarships, and scheduling. The only two positions she's never held are treasurer and choreographer. She leaves those to the experts, she says.

Debi's capacity as executive directed expanded her involvement in the Miss Delaware pageant. She oversees the organization and preparation of Miss Delaware for the Miss America pageant, and all that it entails.

Miss Delaware 2011 Maria Cahill describes her relationship with the executive director as more familial than professional. Maria says she relied on Debi heavily after she won the title because it was her first Miss Delaware competition. Maria and her family looked to Debi to learn the ins and outs of the organization.

"I was lucky because we live close to each other. Whenever I needed someone to talk to, and a phone call wasn't good enough, I would literally drive over to her house. A lot of times it was overwhelming for me. She helped me stay grounded," Maria says.

Time has seen Debi develop into a well-rounded communicator. Her dealings have made her into a better public speaker and leader, and written communication comes easier to her at this point than it did in the beginning. But her life is not the only one that has changed because of the organization. To be involved is to improve one's being.

"The lives of those who volunteer with the Miss America Organization are also changed as they benefit from helping young women reach their goals. The communities in which we all live are beneficiary of the hard work that all contestants commit to their platforms," Debi says.

Subscribe to fourpoints to read more about Debi Wilson and the Miss Delaware program!