Being Miss Maumee Valley

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My Final Farewell Letter....

Below is the farewell letter that appeared in the pageant program book last weekend:

Our lives are shaped by the choices we make; when I chose to enter my first scholarship pageant in the Miss America system six years ago, I had no idea that my decision would afford me so many incredible opportunities and shape my future in such a positive way.

It’s hard to believe that Miss Maumee Valley is my last title in this pageant system and that I am done! While I am saddened that I have “aged out” and would love to keep competing, I am excited for the next phase in my life, a phase I know will be successful thanks to what I have learned from pageants.

Only three months after graduating with my Theatre degree, I have landed a job in the entertainment field as the Face of Fox Toledo. I was selected out of nearly a hundred hopefuls, after a three round elimination process. In my final interview, I sat in front of a panel of six interviewers and three camera people, all watching and waiting to be impressed by me. Thanks to pageants, this unnerving situation was one I had faced two dozen times before. I had heard many pageant women say it before me, and now I agree, my experience in pageant interviews made a real job interview a walk in the park! I am now an on air personality and station representative for hundreds of public events. I know I landed this job thanks to the public speaking, stage presence and interview skills I learned while competing in the Miss America Scholarship program.

I feel like I literally "grew up" within the Miss America system, learning how to succeed under pressure, maturely handle personality conflicts and present myself at an array of public events. As an aspiring actress, singer and model, I can not imagine any other way to gain such valuable stage experience. My journey through what I like to call “pageantland” was filled with joy, tears, glamour, hard work, heartbreak and maturing. Thank you to everyone who put up with me, and helped me through the various steps of this journey.

Especially all my local directors along the way: Melissa Hoying, Ron Hammons, Jerry Deitsch and the crew from Miss Lake Festival who dealt with me at my worst! Melissa and the late Donna Jenkins of Miss Lorain County who allowed me to learn from my mistakes. Ronda Morris and Debbie White Jones of Miss Miami Valley who filled me with confidence! Amy Shaw, Randy Schroeder, Shirley LeMaster and the Miss Northwestern Ohio committee who made me feel more prepared than an astronaut going to space!

To Eric and Linda Wagener of Miss Maumee Valley, it has been an honor to represent your pageant in my final year. You have been a supportive presence in my pageant career since the beginning and I thank you and your entirefamily. From “old lady” jokes to life sized posters of me you made my final year at Miss Ohio wonderful!

Also, special thanks to my friends and family who have supported me along the way: Brian, Monte, Schad, Gabriell, Aunt Marjie, Grandma and Grandpa, Nancy, Loren and Cecilia, Brandon, Allison, the BGSU Forensics team, Jeff, Montana, all my Miss Ohio roommates, all the Miss Ohio volunteers and my amazing Miss Ohio chaperone and hostess, Brenda and Ginny!

Finally, there aren’t words to adequately express my gratitude to the core of my support system. Thank you to Maria Jones for being a constant source of positive encouragement! Loren, thank you for not only sharing the joyous moments with me, but also being my sounding board and shoulder to cry on. I am so lucky to be in a committed relationship with someone who supports all of my dreams. To my mom and dad, six years ago when you allowed me to begin all this, I never imagined how close it would bring us! You have been with me every stiletto-clad step of the way and I could NOT have done it without your constant encouragement. Thank you!

I am proof that persistence in the pageant world pays off, but I could not have done it alone. Thank you to everyone who has been there along the way.



Post a Comment

<< Home