It is such a blessing, privilege and honor to be your Miss Minnesota 2012!
Last night was such a whirlwind - as was my entire journey during and preparing for Miss Minnesota. I have never met a more talented, kind, and motivated group of young women. During the week, we came to the conclusion that we all represented a very special breed of women - all of whom embody the Miss America Organization. Miss America stands to "empower young women to achieve their personal and professional goals, while providing a forum in which to express their opinions, talent and intelligence." Simply put, no matter who was given the title of Miss Minnesota on Saturday, I knew she would be fully devoted to this mission.
On Thursday, we were off to the theater for intense rehearsals leading into our first night of preliminaries where I was to compete in talent and onstage interview - needless to say, the most anxiety producing night! In addition to a lot of prayer, I focused on how exciting it is to perform for this audience and connect with them in ways words do not. This is what makes my talent so special to me; it's a visual representation of the message of a song. Needless to say, I could not have been more honored to earn the preliminary talent award that night!
On Friday, it was time for Lifestyle and Fitness and Evening Gown. The girls all agreed - this is one of the most fun nights! Staying committed to a healthy lifestyle in nutrition and exercise is an important example that Miss Minnesota offers to her state. But most importantly, it is a role that she adopts not only when preparing for competition - it truly is a lifestyle. While I will be the first to admit to having a huge sweet tooth, balanced eating is priority for me. Years in dance and running also ingrained a commitment to staying physically active. Therefore, winning preliminary Lifestyle & Fitness was such an honor. I was also amazed to be awarded preliminary Evening Gown that night!
As Saturday began, none of us could believe this amazing experience was about to come to an end that night. Ask any of the contestants - we honestly felt our class of 2012 was the greatest. I am so grateful for each remarkable representative that made her local community so proud this week.
A lull hit us at about 3:00 in the afternoon, however by 5:00 the energy began building until we burst out on that stage for the final night of competition. My only goal was to bring everything I could and leave my heart on that stage. As we went through each phase of competition, I did exactly that. By the time our final walk came, I was no less nervous for the outcome, but incredibly at peace with how I had performed.
As we stood to receive the final awards, my knees couldn't stay still as I found out I had received the Academic Achievement Award and the Personal Interview Award. It was, however, that incredible pause before announcing Miss Minnesota 2012, that I fought to keep the tears back. I am so passionate about all this program stands for - and as I heard my name called, I could hardly believe I would finally be representing it. I could not be more honored to have received not only this position, but the opportunity it creates to serve my exceptional home state.
My vision for our future is to emphasize the Miss Minnesota Organization's pursuit of excellence. This goes beyond what is seen performed on a stage. Rather, it includes Miss Minnesota's commitment to her academics, positions of leadership, and innovation. Personally, I intend to direct this toward the state of our heart health. This can feasibly and effectively be addressed through lifestyle and primary prevention. With the message of tobacco cessation, physical activity and healthy eating I look forward to doing just that.
Tomorrow I meet with my board to begin what is going to be a sensational year for this program! I am so excited to be working with such a phenomenal board that shares my passion for the Miss America Organization.
Keep in touch as I share my journey as your Miss Minnesota 2012,