Sisterhood Spotlight: Morgan Vanderhei

It’s been quite some time since I’ve published a new Sisterhood Spotlight, to all of you who have questionnaires in your inbox-please fill those out for me ASAP!  In honor of a new Miss Seven Rivers being crowned later today and my three year anniversary from my crowning, I found it only fitting to feature one individual who made that year and every pageant experience since then so special, my (real) sister.  Morgan and I joke about being very different in many aspects, but always possessing the same passion, drive, and dedication when it comes to the Miss America Organization-one of the main elements in life that has pulled us closer together than ever.  Morgan only ever wanted to represent our hometown of Wisconsin Rapids and she worked towards that goal tirelessly, finally achieving it on her fourth attempt in October of 2013.  Watching her be crowned Miss Wisconsin Rapids Area 2014 consumed me with joy, relief, excitement, and eagerness with the hopes that we would get the opportunity to compete at Miss Wisconsin alongside one another.  That dream came true this time three years ago when I was honored to take on the job of Miss Seven Rivers.  I vividly remember breaking down during my closing statement in interview as I spoke about what this chance would mean to me and her to both hold titles at the same time.  When my name was called, the first person I saw on her feet, jumping up and down in the audience cheering me on was Morgan.  From day one she’s always cheered me on (even when I’ve annoyed her obnoxiously), she supported me while we prepared for state, and continues to root for”Team Tia” in the present day, after her time as a titleholder has surpassed.  Thank you for serving our hometown with the highest caliber of compassion and desire to make a difference both then and now, you are a continual example of what this program is all about-I love you!

Name: Morgan Vanderhei

Hometown: Wisconsin Rapids

Education: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with minors in Communication and Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

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Dream job/Current job: Currently I am the Marketing Associate for the Wisconsin Rapids Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. I enjoy having the opportunity to be a tourist in my own town and I am constantly amazed by the things I discover about my hometown that I get to share with others. I aspire to become a Marketing Director for a non-profit organization, such as the Children’s Miracle Network.

Favorite color: Redcollage-0011. What inspired you to get involved with the Miss America Organization? In my hometown competing in the Miss Wisconsin Rapids Area Pageant as senior in high school could almost be considered a rite of passage for some. I had attended the pageant many times, knew young women who had/were competing and was excited to finally have the opportunity to compete as well.

2. Tell us about your first MAO pageant. My involvement in the Miss America Organization began back in 2007 when I competed for Miss Wisconsin Rapids Area for the first time as a senior in high school. I was only 17 years old and didn’t really understand what the organization was all about, but I had a great experience and ended up winning the Non-Finalist Talent Award.

3. What is/was your platform and why did you choose it? My personal platform was, “Unplug Yourself: Reconnect with Life.” I chose it because with the constant growth of technology, I believe there is not enough awareness of what can be lost from being constantly plugged in. I encourage people to take the time to unplug and focus on the importance of face to face communication, building relationships and physical activity.

4. What is your favorite phase of competition, why? My favorite phase of competition was interview because it is the only chance you have to truly connect with the judges. Also, I believe that if you can make through a pageant interview that all other interviews will be a piece of cake.

5.  Style, Service, Scholarship, or Success? Service is the point with which I feel most connected. Philanthropy has always had a place in my heart, but I have discovered that the personal impact is exponential. I believe that service is not measured in days and dollars, but in hugs, tears and lasting relationships.

6. What titles have you held and what were some of your biggest accomplishments or most cherished memories during each of them? 

Miss Wisconsin Rapids Area 2014

  • Making over 70 appearances throughout my year of service. It was truly an honor to represent my hometown and give back to the community that has provided me with so much love and support.

  • From taking my first polar bear jump to hosting a comedy night for a cause, I was able to raise $3,638 for the Children’s Miracle Network during my year of service. The generosity of so many allowed me to earn the Miracle Maker Award at Miss Wisconsin.

  • Having the unique opportunity to be actual “sister queens,” and compete alongside my sister at Miss Wisconsin.

7. What is/was your talent and what do/did you enjoy most about performing it? My talent was a tap dance to “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” from the Great Gatsby. I took dance lessons for many years, and jazz and tap were my favorites because of the upbeat nature of the music. What I loved most about performing my talent was having the opportunity to share the joy that dance brings me.

8. Who is your biggest role model within the Miss Wisconsin Organization? Katie (Williams) Tomsyck and my sister Tianna Vanderhei are my biggest role models within in the Miss Wisconsin Organization. Katie is a dear friend and I’ve always admired her dedication to the Miss America Organization and to helping young women grow both personally and professionally. I am so grateful for her always being willing to share her wealth of pageant knowledge with me, as well as encouraging me to not give up on my dreams and compete for the title of Miss Wisconsin Rapids Area once more. Tianna and I consider ourselves to be rather different, but we have always shared our passion for the Miss America Organization. Despite her being my little sister, I look up to her in many ways. I am truly envious of her adventurous spirit and how she fearlessly chases her dreams. I was incredibly proud when she won her first local title, Miss La Crosse/Oktoberfest and watching her compete at Miss Wisconsin for the first time inspired me to not give up. I’ll never forget how it felt when she won Miss Seven Rivers, giving us the opportunity to be actual sister queens. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without her love and support, I am blessed to have such a remarkable young woman as my sister.

9. Favorite comfort food outside of competition mode? To be honest I find many foods comforting, but I can never seem to pass up a good old Wisconsin fish fry.

10. Who is your favorite Miss America? Why? My favorite Miss America is Mallory Hytes Hagan, Miss America 2013. To me she embodied what it means to be successful within the Miss America Organization and all facets of life by just being herself.

11. How would you describe the feelings you had when you won your first local? What goes through your mind when you are standing on stage and you hear your name called? After countless hours of preparations and continuous trials at vying for the title, my dream came true when I was crowned Miss Wisconsin Rapids Area 2014.  Having faith in God means also having faith in his timing; I remember waking up the day after pageant seeing the sash and crown on my dresser still in disbelief that it was my time. It was my fourth attempt at the title and my last year of eligibility within the Miss America Organization, so I felt truly blessed to have the opportunity.00112. If someone says, “You’re a beauty queen, what’s the relevancy of a pageant in today’s society,” what would you say to them? I would share with them what I learned after competing for the first time, that the crown is a symbol of a woman of great substance. As the world’s largest provider of scholarship for young women, it empowers young women to achieve their academic goals and live their dreams.

13. What is the most memorable moment you’ve experienced as a contestant/titleholder? From the moment I was crowned I knew that the Children’s Miracle Network would be a driving force behind my year of service. It is the national platform for the Miss America Organization and I was lucky enough to have Hannah Vakoc as my miracle princess. She is one of the most charismatic young ladies I have ever met. Even after everything that she and her family have been through, Hannah always has a smile that simply sparkles. Hearing her story and getting to know her family only grew my passion for the Children’s Miracle Network. I enjoyed every appearance opportunity that I got to share with Hannah throughout my year of service and I cherish our friendship, I will always consider her to be my miracle princess!

14. How has your involvement influenced your life? Throughout my years of competing and my year as Miss Wisconsin Rapids Area I grew immensely, both professionally and personally. I will be forever grateful to the Miss America Organization for helping to shape me into the woman I am today. I believe that it brought out my best characteristics, such as my determination, caring attitude and my desire to make a difference. I am so thankful that God blessed me with the opportunity to serve as Miss Wisconsin Rapids Area 2014 and honored to be a part of such an incredible sisterhood.

15. What advice would you give to fellow sisters, contestants, and young girls looking to one day compete for a title? Never let anyone dull your sparkle!

16. As a woman who has aged out of competing, reflecting back, how would you sum up your experience using only one word? Remarkable.

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Sisterhood Spotlight: Rebecca Charles

Many times young women utilize the Miss America Organization as a stepping stone towards their educational goals and an opportunity to grow as an individual while impacting the community around them, without a long term plan to continue competing.  I recently caught up with a past, local teen within the Miss Wisconsin’s Outstanding Teen program, Rebecca Charles.  She held the title of Miss Beliot’s Outstanding Teen and was extremely fun and compelling to watch on stage (I’m sure you remember her).  Well if you’re wondering what she’s up to know and how her experience was in WIOT, you’ll just have to continue reading…
Name: Rebecca Marie Charles
Hometown: Beloit
Education: Rising junior at Pace University
Dream Job: Actress, politician, or travel blogger. I’m a very indecisive girl.
Favorite Color: Lavender
1) What inspired you to get involved with the Miss America Organization? After first being diagnosed with depression and later attempting suicide, I felt it was important for me to educate young people on mental illness and suicide. I wanted to be a voice for teens who were too afraid to speak for themselves or those who thought they were all alone or “abnormal.”
2) Tell us about your first MAO pageant. My first pageant was in 2013, competing for Miss Beloit’s Outstanding Teen.
3) What is/was your platform? Teen Suicide Awareness and Prevention
4) What is your favorite phase of competition, why?  My favorite phase of competition is interview. I love speaking to/meeting new people because I am a natural extrovert. Current events, for me, are so interesting to discuss and that really shows during interview. It’s also the best opportunity for me to let my genuine personality shine through.
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5) Style, Service, Scholarship, or Success?  Scholarship.  An education is a girl’s best weapon and I truly believe that.
6) What titles have you held? Miss Beloit’s Outstanding Teen 2013
7) What is/was your talent and what do/did you enjoy most about performing it? My talent was singing. My favorite part of the talent portion was the song I sang, “Colors of the Wind.” I picked this song based on my platform. The song is all about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and loving others for who they are, and until you’re able to do so, you won’t be able to live a fulfilled life. The best line in the song for me was, “How high can a sycamore grow? If you cut it down, then you’ll never know.” So many teens who struggle with depression or mental illness are not able to see their worth or full potential at that point in their lives. It is important that young people be reminded of how much more there is to this life and how much they are capable of accomplishing with their time on earth.
8) Who is your biggest role model within the Miss Wisconsin Scholarship Program? My biggest role model within the Miss Wisconsin organization is, hands down, Stephanie Klett, Miss Wisconsin 1992. I have known her for most of my life and I truly admire her passion for life and all people. She is one of the funniest, most charismatic, and bravest women I know and she doesn’t fit “the mold” of a former pageant girl. Stephanie is everything I want to be someday.
9) Favorite comfort food outside of competition mode? Bread. All the bread.
10) Who is your favorite Miss America? Why? Miss America 2013, Mallory Hagan. She reminded me a lot of myself. Mallory is very unorthodox as far as pageant girls go and doesn’t seem to care what others think of her.
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11) How would you describe the feelings you had when you won your first local? What goes through your mind when you are standing on stage and you hear your name called? Winning my first title really didn’t feel real. It was something I had dreamed about ever since the age of five so once it really happens you’re just honestly in a state of shock. The best moment, for me, was seeing my section of supporters all fly up from their seats in celebration. I will never forget that visual. So many friends and family came to support me that did not have to. I say it all the time but I am very blessed to have so much love and support in my life, especially in my hometown of Beloit.
12) If someone says, “You’re a beauty queen, what’s the relevancy of a pageant in today’s society,” what would you say to them? To this, I would explain the importance of the Miss America Organization, for both the surrounding community and the contestants themselves. This organization has paid for many young women to get through college and has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for the Children’s Miracle Network, which supports research of fatal illnesses in young children. On top of that I would tell them that, without a doubt, the most intelligent and successful women I have ever met have been in the Miss America Organization.
13) What is the most memorable moment you’ve experienced as a contestant/titleholder? I got to visit UW Madison Children’s Hospital one day and play with a little four-year-old boy who had been hospitalized for the third time. For me, it was eye-opening to see this little boy and know that he had gone through more trauma than I had or possibly ever would. And yet, he still found every reason to smile.
14) How has your involvement influenced your life? For me, the most life changing part of the pageant process was developing more social skills/awareness — interview really helped with that. Since competing, I have never “bombed” a job interview or even gotten anxious over one.
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15) What is a hidden talent others might not know you possess? I absolutely love doing imitations and like to think I’m somewhat good at them as well.
16) What advice would you give to fellow sisters, contestants, and young girls looking to one day compete for a title? Embrace your differences. That never fails.
17) What are you up to now and do you plan on competing in the future? In Manhattan, where I currently live, pageants are harder to come by. Right now, I’m just focusing on getting through undergrad and I’m hoping to go to law school one day.
18) As a woman who has aged out of competing, reflecting back, how would you sum up your experience using only one word?  Gratifying.

Sisterhood Spotlight: Alyssa Bohm

The Miss America Organization and Miss Wisconsin Scholarship Program are much more than pageants, they’re networking systems, confidence boosters, and an avenue to form community partnerships.  This Sisterhood Spotlight feature is meant to dig a little deeper into the lives, passions, and accomplishments of the well-rounded, driven women the MAO fosters.  Alyssa is a prime example of the women that are involved in the program.  She possesses a deep desire to make a difference in the lives’ of others while sharing a message to a larger audience that she is personally connected to.  I had the pleasure of getting to know Alyssa when I was Miss Madison-Capital City and she was Miss Racine.  I can tell you that she stays true to who she is, will surely make you laugh, and cares deeply about everyone she meets. Meet Alyssa Bohm everyone…Alyssa and IName: Alyssa Bohm

Hometown: Racine, WI

Education: Senior at University of Wisconsin- Whitewater studying Special Education

Dream job: High School Principal changing the way we teach our children

Favorite color: Purple

1. What inspired you to get involved with the Miss America Organization? When I was a senior in high school a classmate of mine who was the current Miss Racine encouraged me at an event we were volunteering at to compete. The titleholder was Paula Mae Kuiper and she said “you would be a great representative with your outgoing personality!” I thought about it and decided to give it a shot. The first year I competed for Miss Racine in 2013, I was instantly hooked! I realized how much the Miss America Organization has to offer and how much I love being on stage and promoting my platform!

2. Tell us about your first MAO pageant. Like I slightly mentioned before, my first experience was in 2013 competing for the title of Miss Racine. I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into when I decided to compete. Not knowing much about pageants or the Miss America Organization I was very grateful to have the Morrall family become so supportive in the process. From choosing my talent piece to finding an evening gown to borrow, I can’t thank the entire Miss Racine organization for their constant support my first year. Even though I did not go home with the crown I was very proud of myself for stepping out of box. I continued to work hard and prepare for the next year to compete again for Miss Racine 2014.

3. What is/was your platform and why did you choose it? My platform is Enhancing Opportunities for Youth with Special Needs, giving individuals with special needs the opportunities to enhance their lives through activities and involvement in their communities. My platform is inspired by my aunt Cindy who has special needs. When I was a little girl I never saw Aunt Cindy as someone who was different. Cindy is a very happy, lovable and independent. She works at Goodwill Industries, is on a bowling league, attends church every Sunday and loves Mickey Mouse more then anyone else I know! As I grew up I realized more and more that Aunt Cindy was very special and the sole reason why I am so passionate about my platform. Aunt Cindy fuels my love for those with special needs and helps me to be able relate and communicate with individuals with special needs. I want those with special needs to be able to have an equal opportunity at their dreams. I have experienced first hand how organizations like the Special Alyssa Bohm8Olympics, Miss Amazing Pageant, Best Buddies and the Sparkle Effect have enhanced individuals lives with special needs for the better. I can remember being an the Special Olympics Track and Field Tournament and cheering on the athletes at the end of the finish line. When the winner reached the finish line I said to him “You won the first place blue ribbon, I am so proud of you!”. He responded “I want the yellow ribbon Jimmy can have the blue, he did great!” To him it did not matter what place he finished in, it was seeing everyone in the crowd cheering him on and being able to showcase his skills he has worked so hard to master. He was a confident young man that cherished friendship, sportsmanship and dedication. That is what I want to create for every individual with special needs, the opportunity to feel invincible in being the best person they can possibly be. “The hearts I have touch will be the proof that I’ve lived.”

4. What is your favorite phase of competition, why? Swimsuit! I love being able to confidently strut my stuff on stage and showcase all of my hard work. Working out is a stress reliever for me, I am able to wind down and enjoy my favorite music while pushing myself further and further each time!Alyssa Bohm6.jpg

5. Style, Service, Scholarship, or Success? Service! “The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.” This is my favorite quote by my favorite basketball player Kobe Bryant. Service has changed my life and being apart of the Miss America Organization my service has only progressed. The experiences that I have had being Miss Racine 2015 and being exposed to the heart warming community of Racine has inspired me to continue my service throughout the rest of my life. One day during my year I was at a community center in Racine for “National Night Out”. The children at the center were so surprised to see Miss Racine in their neighborhood which has a high crime rate. One little girl said to me after we talked about our favorite colors and danced to Justin Bieber for an hour, “I am so glad you came today, I want to be just like you.” It brought tears to my eyes seeing all of the children so excited to just have me in their neighborhood and realizing someone cares about them. I want to inspire people everyday to become successful individuals who will make a difference. My platform is also all about service and I continue to promote, volunteer and create memories from myself and others with or without a crown on my head.

6. What titles have you held and what were some of your biggest accomplishments or most cherished memories during each of them?

  • Miss Racine 2015
    • Volunteering for Miss Amazing Wisconsin (Special Needs Pageant)
    • MC for Special Olympics World’s Largest Truck Convoy (raised over 10,000 dollars)
    • Promoting Special Olympics “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign at Miss Wisconsin
    • Appearing at “A Night To Remember Prom” (Special Needs Prom)
    • Combining the Sparkle Squad Special Needs Cheer Squad and Special Olympics athletes together in one (cheering on one another)
    • Meeting my best friend Desiree Andrews at The Down Syndrome Walk and giving her one of my own cheer medals
    • Landing a job a Kenosha Bradford High School as a special education assistant
    • Creating the UWW Special Olympics Organization

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7. What is/was your talent and what do/did you enjoy most about performing it? My talent is tap dancing, and I danced to “It Don’t Mean A Thing” by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. I LOVED my talent routine because it showed my personality. My father is a professional magician and being apart of a family that is full of magic I figured adding magic would really embrace my personality. During my talent I wave a red scarf around and then throw the scarf in the air and it magically turns into a black cane! No one expects the magic to happen which is what I love most.

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8. Who is your biggest role model within the Miss Wisconsin Scholarship Program? Paula Mae Kuiper, she encouraged me to compete for Miss Racine four years ago and I can’t thank her enough for all of her encouragement throughout the years. She represented Racine, Madison and the state of Wisconsin amazingly and I truly admire her determination, compassion and grace in everything she does.

9. Favorite comfort food outside of competition mode? Tacos, Tacos, Tacos and did I mention tacos? I love Mexican cuisine and could probably never get tired of it, it definitely makes me happy!

10. Who is your favorite Miss America? Why? Mallory Hagan, not only is she an amazing tap dancer but she also stays true to who she is on and off the stage. Following her Miss America journey, I admired her compassion for the Miss America Organization and really representing the organization in her own way which inspires so many young woman to be true to themselves every single day. Being the best “you” you can be!

11. How would you describe the feelings you had when you won your first local? What goes through your mind when you are standing on stage and you hear your name called? You could say, “umm wait… did they just say Alyssa Bohm?” That is exactly what Alyssa Bohm4was going through my head when my name was called at the Miss Racine 2015 pageant. Like I said before it took me three times to win the title of Miss Racine. Hearing my name not be called for two years really put me into shock when my name really was called. It was amazing to finally know that all my hard work had paid off and it was finally my time! Tears of joy running down my face as Haylee Bande, Miss Racine 2014 is screaming “Alyssa it’s you they called your name, I’m so proud of you!” It was a dream come true to be able to represent my hometown of Racine, WI.

12. If someone says, “You’re a beauty queen, what’s the relevancy of a pageant in today’s society?!” What would you say to them? First explaining how the Miss America Organization is a scholarship program. The Miss America Organization offers 45 million dollars in scholarships every year and 500,000 hours of service just in the year of 2015. These statistics show that thousands of young women are making a difference in their communities. The Miss America Organization specifically provides opportunities for young women to grow and inspires young girls to want to achieve their dreams.

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13. How has your involvement influenced your life? Being involved with the Miss America Organization for four years now it has helped me in my personal and professional life. I am involved with several organizations, gained many new life long friendships and have been able to make my mark. Professionally, being apart of the Miss America Organization it has helped me improve my speaking skills and networking portfolio. Without this organization I would not be as confident going into an interview, speaking in front of class or taking on leadership roles. I was able to figure out my professional career and land a job this year in the career field of my choice. Because of the experiences I have had I am a confident young woman that plans to have a successful future.

14. What advice would you give to fellow sisters, contestants, and young girls looking to one day compete for a title? Be yourself! No matter what be yourself, it may be hard seeing other girls around you who might be more experienced competing against you but you are not them, you are you! From my own experience, I have learned that being myself is all I can be and the judges will see that. At the end of the day whether or not you walk away with the crown, wearing your invisible crown everyday is just as important.Alyssa Bohm7

Sisterhood Spotlight: Kimberly Sawyer Larsen

In light of Miss Wisconsin week 2016 wrapping up, I thought it was only fitting to showcase a forever Miss Wisconsin this week and a past Miss Green Bay Area. Kim has served as an inspirational figure to me for the last few years, as I know she does for countless women within this organization. She was a college athlete, loves the Green Bay Packers (and baseball), and has one of the biggest hearts! Oh and did I mention she still looks as fabulous now (after having two kids) as she did when she was Miss Wisconsin?!

Name: Kimberly “Sawyer” Larsen

Hometown: Egg Harbor, WI (aka Door County!) I now live in Green Bay.

Education: Bachelors of Business Administration with a Finance emphasis and Spanish minor from St. Norbert College / MBA from UW-Oshkosh – Expected Graduation Spring 2018

Dream job/Current job: Current Job – Sales Operations Manager at Breakthrough®Fuel & Mom to Maggie & Annie. Dream job – working on it

Favorite color: Purple

1. What inspired you to get involved with the Miss America Organization? I honestly just thought, what a fun opportunity to keep performing on stage and maybe gain some scholarship money along the way, oh and wear a pretty dress too! I never imagined that I would walk away with so many life skills, increased confidence, the ability to nail an interview, life-long friends; the list goes on and on! 

2. Tell us about your first MAO pageant. Miss Door County 2005! I was a senior in high school and was just there to have fun and learn about the organization. I was named second runner-up and was so happy about that! Samantha Baudhuin (Miss Door Cty 2005 and Miss GB 2008) won that year and is now one of my best friends. I was so impressed by the Miss Door County organization and I had numerous people encourage me to keep at it. I took a few years off until 2008 when I came back and won Miss Door County. I was glad I took the time to go to college for two years, learn about myself, the world, and why I really wanted to compete. It made me a stronger person and stronger competitor.

3. What was your platform and why did you choose it? My platform as Miss Door County was originally centered on blood donation as I was a volunteer with the American Red Cross. During my year I was so amazed by the various non-profit and volunteer-based organizations I encountered that I wanted to spread the message of volunteerism to as many people as possible. As my parents have always been extremely involved in the Door County community, I had been greatly impacted by volunteers in my childhood through the YMCA, youth sports, community theater, etc. and wanted to drive home the message of volunteer service and how crucial it is to the community. The end goal is to help each person find the perfect organization that not only allows them to cultivate their passions and positively influence the community but one that also fits their schedule. That is how it evolved into Service for the Soul and how the message of finding life-long service opportunities within the community became the focal point.

4. What was your favorite phase of competition, why? Love love love interview (can you tell I like to talk?). I really enjoy the fact that you can display your true self and have the opportunity to share with the judges why you are the right person for the job. It has taught me countless lessons about who I am, what I believe in, and how to succeed in the business world and community. I always say, if you can handle a pageant interview, you can take on any job interview. I also love evening gown. I mean who doesn’t want to wear a beautiful gown, and it typically is near the end of competition where you just get to breathe a little bit, strut your stuff and exude confidence because dang you look good! 

5. Style, Service, Scholarship, or Success? THE question! 🙂 I have to say Service. With my platform being Service for the Soul, it is a core reason why I love and continue to be involved in the organization.

6. What was your talent and what do/did you enjoy most about performing it? As Miss GB and Miss Wis I sang a classical vocal during competition (originally Broadway as Miss Door Cty) but truly enjoy singing all genres. Singing is such a unique way to connect with an audience and share a story. I also loved the challenge of singing in another language and pushing my vocal skills to new heights with my fabulous voice coach. So challenging and rewarding! I still, in fact, sing quite a few National Anthems at local baseball games, which is still such an honor and a privilege every time I sing it.

7. Who is/was your biggest role model within the Miss Wisconsin Scholarship Program? There are SO many. I admire so many former Miss Wisconsin’s and former contestants that are now friends and all of my advisors who guided me during my journey, but if I have to pick one I definitely want to highlight Michele Hepfler. She was the one who sparked the fire for pageants in my heart and encouraged me to keep going. As a long-time family friend she had held two local MAO titles and I actually still have some of her autograph cards she wrote to me back then (fun to look back at them now!). She has been irreplaceable as an interview and talent coach, health guru and overall role model in life. She gave me the tough love when I needed it and the encouragement to believe in myself and my abilities. We are still great friends to this day and I am so lucky to have her in my life. Time spent with Michele equals lots of laughs and great memories made! 8. Favorite comfort food outside of competition mode? Cheesy Potatoes. Cheese + Potatoes = YUM.

9. How would you describe the feelings you had when you won your first local? What goes through your mind when you are standing on stage and you hear your name called? Pure gratitude, elation, knowing that all your hard work paid off and now you get to embark on this new and exciting journey!

10. If someone says, “You’re a beauty queen, what’s the relevancy of a pageant in today’s society,” what would you say to them? I usually say well then I have some things to teach you don’t I?! Some of my best friends have come out of this organization because it is so refreshing, empowering and inspiring to be surrounded by other women who have big goals for their lives and have accomplished so much in their education and communities. They all continue to do so and are still inspiring me to this day. The fact that this organization opens up even more possibilities for our future women leaders is exactly why it is relevant. Also can you say SCHOLARSHIP dollars?

11. What is the most memorable moment you’ve experienced as a contestant/titleholder? Too many to count, but of course it has to be my sister, Katie, and I standing as the final two on the Miss Wisconsin stage. Such a surreal memory and so proud of my sister! I still wish there was a camera on our family and friends in the audience; they must have been entertaining to watch at that moment!

 12. How has your involvement influenced your life? In countless ways. Now working in sales I am able to speak confidently in front of a variety of audiences, adjust my message at a moment’s notice and feel comfortable in my own skin. I am in the process of completing my MBA with my MAO scholarship dollars so that has been an extreme blessing, and I finally feel like I have a handle on my hair and makeup (some days more than others, ha!). It has also inspired me to increase my level of commitment to serving my community by volunteering with local non-profits such as the Women’s Fund of Green Bay and the Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay (and of course MAO).

 13. What advice would you give to fellow sisters, contestants, and young girls looking to one day compete for a title? Make sure that you are the one who really wants this for YOU. It takes a great deal of hard work, stamina, motivation and resilience, so you have to have the fire for it deep inside of you and you can’t want it for anyone else. Also, in terms of advice after you have won a title – I received some of the best advice a few days after I was crowned from Meghan Coffey (Miss Wisconsin 2006). We had lunch together and she told me that there are mornings as Miss Wisconsin where it may be the fifth time in a row that you’ve woken up at 4:30AM to drive across the state for an appearance but to one person or one child, it may be the first and only time they ever meet a Miss Wisconsin. The way that you interact with everyone you meet means a great deal more than you can ever imagine and may really make a difference in someone’s life. So even on those days when you are tired, remember why you are doing this and soak in every moment, big or small. Side note: Meghan, I’m sure I’m not quoting exactly what you said but this is how I remember it! 🙂 Thanks sister!

14. As a woman who has aged out of competing, reflecting back, how would you sum up your experience using only one word? Grateful. Grateful for the opportunity, for those who gave so much of their time and talents to help me in any way during my journey, for the friends I gained along the way, and the perspective that it has given me to live a full and purposeful life.

15. What was your journey like to becoming Miss Wisconsin?

• Competed for Miss Door County in 2005 – 2nd Runner-Up

• Competed and Won Miss Door County 2008, did not place at Miss Wisconsin 2008

• Competed and Won Miss Green Bay Area 2010

• Won Miss Wisconsin 2010

16. What were your thoughts when you won the job of Miss Wisconsin? It was so surreal at first. I had worked so hard to prepare and this dream had really come true! I remember going to the gala afterwards, doing my interview the next morning in a blur and then it really sank in when they handed me the keys to the “Miss Wis mobile”. I had a flashback to competing for Miss Door County 2008 and watching Christina Thompson (Miss Wisconsin 2007) drive into the parking lot in that red car, walk in with all of her beautiful gowns and I was just in awe of her. She was so gorgeous, so put together, so kind and really took the time to chat with all of us. I couldn’t believe that now it was me who was holding that position and would now have the opportunity to positively affect those I would meet throughout my year. I remembered that feeling during my year of service and never forgot how even the smallest of moments can have a huge impact on those you encounter along the way.

17. Explain your experience at Miss America. What a whirlwind! That term gets thrown around a lot but Miss America was definitely that. It was exhilarating, exhausting, and a ton of fun all at once. I left it all out there on the stage and can say I walked away with a friend in every state, all women whom I admire greatly and am inspired by daily. What an honor to represent the great state of Wisconsin at the national level.

18. Does your journey within the Miss America Organization define who you are today, why or why not? It does and it doesn’t. It will always be a huge part of my life because it has done so much for me and has had a large role in molding me into the woman I am today. It has also afforded me the opportunity to achieve my MBA which I will finish in 2018 so I am extremely grateful for that as well. But I do believe I am not only defined by that achievement but about what I will do now that I have been given this platform. I will also always have the strong foundation of my family and faith that has and will continue to ground me and define me in so many ways.

Sisterhood Spotlight: Tori Bogren

Up next on the Sisterhood Spotlight is Tori Bogren. I first met Tori when I was Miss Seven Rivers 2014 and she was Miss Kenosha, if you haven’t seen this lady twirl baton before, you’re missing out! As someone who can’t even spin a baton around her fingers, she absolutely blows me away every time she performs. Tori went on to hold a second title, Miss Fox River Valley and performed beautifully on the Miss Wisconsin stage in 2015, read more to see what she’s up to now!
Name: Tori Bogren
Hometown: Glen Ellyn, IL/ Now I live in Kenosha
Education: Bachelor of the Arts from Carthage College
Dream job: 1st grade teacher
Favorite color: turquoise
1. What inspired you to get involved with the Miss America Organization? I had friends in the MAO system and I loved what I saw.  I saw them advocating for great causes as well as interacting with their community  .People had the opportunity to see what they were passionate about within their platform and they were able to spread their message.  You can’t ask for much for than that!
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2. Tell us about your first MAO pageant. My first MAO pageant was Miss Kenosha 2014.  Ashley Sturdevant came and talked to the Carthage dance team about it and I said why not?! I went to the informational meeting and fell in love with the organization even more.  That year, 17 girls competed which was an intimidating number of contestants for a newbie.  I went out there and did my absolute best and I won! Joya, my director, was a huge inspiration during the process and I still owe her more than she knows!
3. What is/was your platform and why did you choose it? My platform was “Tori’s Stories: promoting literacy for people of all ages” I chose this as my platform because as an educator I see struggling readers everyday.  I have been in their shoes and know what it is like for something to not ” click” right away.  I talk about the importance of school as I was a college student ready to give up on my dream of becoming a 1st grade teacher.  I told my parents that college wasn’t for me and that I needed to find a different path.  If it wasn’t for them enforcing the importance of education and literacy I would not be typing these answers while my first grade class was in gym! 🙂
4. What is your favorite phase of competition, why? I love every phase because each one brings out a different personality, but I especially love talent.  I have twirled since I was 3 years old and have had the opportunity to travel around the world competing.  After twirling at the University of Tennessee for a semester, before transferring to Carthage, I thought my twirling days were over.  MAO re-lit that twirling flame in me and I am go grateful that I was able to share my love of twirling with the audience.
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5.  Style, Service, Scholarship, or Success? It is impossible for me to choose! I don’t think you can have one without the other three!
6. What titles have you held and what were some of your biggest accomplishments or most cherished memories during each of them?
  • Miss Kenosha 2014
    • Winning my first pageant
    • Working with an unbelievable team in Kenosha that supported you and were like a second family
    • Making top 5 at Miss Wisconsin
    • Being the first local title holder to create a girl scout literacy patch that they can earn and add to their vests.
  • Miss Fox River Valley 2015
    • Participated in the first ever Miss America Serves Day
    • Talking to elementary schools about the importance of school and literacy
    • Making top 10 at Miss Wisconsin.
7. What is/was your talent and what do/did you enjoy most about performing it? My talent was baton twirling and my favorite performance was my cha cha routine.  I had lot of help that went into the choreography that I will be forever grateful for.  I enjoyed that routine the most because I am a smooth and flowy twirler and to flip into a fast, upbeat, cha cha routine was out of my comfort zone at first, but I absolutely loved to get into that character and loved the adrenaline rush that it gave me.
8. Who is your biggest role model within the Miss Wisconsin Scholarship Program? Joya Santarelli.  She is without a doubt a huge factor as to why I love the Program as much as I do.  She is exactly what the MAO stands for.  She pushed me to my limits to prove to myself that I could do it.  She believed in my 100% of the time and never gave up on me.  She welcomed me into her family and my family in Kenosha grew.  She gave up so much of her time to help me prep for Miss Wisconsin.  Whether is was panels of people for mock interviews, traveling to random places for dresses to try on, or grocery shopping for me because I was too stressed out about eating no carbs, she had my back and comforted me.  I, still to this day, can not thank her enough for her continue friendship and support in everything I do.  We continue to be great friends and I even get to see her on a weekly basis! I owe her more than she knows, and because of her influence, I grew up.
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9. Favorite comfort food outside of competition mode? Taco dip and Barq’s Root Beer! Those are my two favorite things and definitely don’t fit into the pre- Miss Wisconsin diet!
10. Who is your favorite Miss America? Why? I love last years Miss America, Kira.  She was the Miss America when I got involved with MAO and I followed her journey.  I admire the work she did and the personality that she added to each appearance.  You could tell that she was real and genuine.  She was definitely a great role model and influence on me as I started my own journey in the Miss America Organization.
11. How would you describe the feelings you had when you won your first local? What goes through your mind when you are standing on stage and you hear your name called? When I won Miss Kenosha a flood of emotions filled me.  All of my family and friends were there cheering me on and I will never forget the crowd roaring when my name was called. I didn’t know whether to smile, cry, wave, or jump! I just remember thinking, “all the hard work paid off!”  When I saw my parents they told me they could not have been prouder and little did we know, that was the start of a new chapter in our lives.
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12. If someone says, “You’re a beauty queen, what’s the relevancy of a pageant in today’s society,” what would you say to them? I would tell them that there are ambassadors in their community that are spreading meaningful and personal messages.  Role models are advocating for great causes and are people that the community can look up to.  We are not JUST beauty queens, we are deeper than just looks.
13. What is the most memorable moment you’ve experienced as a contestant/titleholder? When I was Miss Kenosha, I was student teaching in college at the same time.  It was a very hectic time in my life to be teaching all day followed for two or three appearances a night.  However, on my last day of student teaching, I saw an autistic boy in my class hold his pencil and write his name for the first time in his life.  I left that day with tears in my eyes and a drive like I have never had before.  I knew that this Organization allowed for me to help children and spread my platform.
14. How has your involvement influenced your life? Throughout my time in MAO, I have gained so much.  When I started, I was a shy college student who was not comfortable walking into a room of people that I did not know.  MAO has pulled out the social side of me and has helped me gain so much confidence.  Doing things in my community lead me to be not only a familiar face in the community but I will forever be thankful for the life skills that it brought me.  There is no way that I would be sitting here as a first grade teacher today without the conversational skills and confidence that MAO taught me.  I walked into every interview knowing that I had done this before and to just be myself.
15. What advice would you give to fellow sisters, contestants, and young girls looking to one day compete for a title? The advice I would give is to be yourself.  Everytime I competed I never strayed away from who I was.  Stay open minded- be open to peoples ideas and advice, you never know who is going to tell you something that is going to stick with you forever.  If you stay open minded you might surprise yourself and learn something new about yourself!
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Sisterhood Spotlight: Jenna Mills

Compassionate, determined, and selfless are three words I believe sum up this week’s Sisterhood Spotlight. I first met Jenna Mills when I was competing for Miss La Crosse/Oktoberfest 2012 (and went on to win the title). She was so kind, always willing to lend a hand or borrow an item to anyone in need, possessed a sincere passion for Oktoberfest and the La Crosse community, and poured her heart out during competition. Our friendship was cultivated during that experience and it continued to grow as I watched her continue to compete and go on to win the title of Miss Seven Rivers 2013, providing us with the opportunity to experience our journey to Miss Wisconsin 2013 with one another. She’s the type of person who has an extreme zest for life, chasing after dreams, and pursuing new adventures and I’m extremely fortunate to call her a friend and sister of mine.

Name: Jenna Rae Mills

Hometown: La Crosse, WI

Current City: Chicago

Dream job: To travel internationally as a Wine Expert

Favorite color: Does Cheetah count?

1. What inspired you to get involved with the Miss America Organization? At the young age of 15, my mother, Judy, entered me into my first pageant in the teen division. I had absolutely no idea what to expect or even how to prepare for the competition. After the pageant was over, I left with many new friends and a new found confidence within myself. I guess you can say, I caught the “Pageant Bug” and have continued my career now for over a decade. The Miss America Org. was a great system to grow as a young girl as it gives all the skills to become successful and independent woman.

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2. Tell us about your first MAO pageant. My first MAO pageant was in La Crosse at the Viterbo Fine Arts Center for the Miss La Crosse/Oktoberfest title. My step mom was a former Miss La Crosse/ Oktoberfest and went onto becoming involved as greniers. Being born and raised in La Crosse, I thought it was only fitting to represent my hometown. I trained hard, practiced my interview skills, and worked tiring hours on my talent, which was a dance routine to “Think” by Aretha Franklin. I ended up getting first runner-up to Katie Ekern that year. I loved the experience and was hooked and ready to train harder for next year’s pageant.

3. What is/was your platform and why did you choose it? Over the years my platform has changed, as I have changed and grown myself. When I first began my pageant career, I choose Breast Cancer Awareness. I changed my platform to Childhood Obesity, then last year to Hunger Insecurity and currently working also with Going Green with the Miss Earth Org. I always choose something close to my heart, that I could personally get involved in and spread awareness easily to others. I always recommend to others, to pick a platform that’s fun and makes your heart feel good.

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4. What is your favorite phase of competition, why? Swimsuit! This is my favorite, and many people’s least favorite, phase as it is where my physical hard work and passion shines through. I am very active and love to workout so for me it’s rewarding and fun.

5.  Style, Service, Scholarship, or Success?  I cannot thank the people who helped me along in this amazing organization. Service is such a big factor for me because I have been forever changed due to the love and support of the volunteers who help me get where I am now. That being said, too, Service (volunteering) was a majority of my time spent in my year as a titleholder. There are numerous memories that I will cherish for years and the people I was able to meet and help have imprinted on my heart too. These are the things that make it so special to a titleholder. Not only are you given this opportunity to look pretty with a crown on your head, but more importantly, use the crown to its advantage; using the power of the crown’s attention to raise the volume of your campaign.

6. What titles have you held and what were some of your biggest accomplishments or most cherished memories during each of them?

  • My first title, Miss Seven Rivers 2013.
    • I would have a long list of favorite memories but to start off, being crowned in itself was a big accomplishment for me. I was starting to get the nickname,  “Miss Runner-up” and I just knew in my heart that my hard work would pay off and that I just needed to be patient. Having Abby Ryan as my director was like having my personal cheerleader along for the whole ride. Many of my favorite memories stem from having her by my side. Specifically one memory in general was packing up for Miss WI in her old purple car. It was packed to the brims! The whole drive to Miss Wisconsin we jammed out to oldies but goodies, like N’sync, TLC, and S Club 7. Her heart is pure gold and we still stay in contact today.

7. What is/was your talent and what do/did you enjoy most about performing it? I grew up a figure skater so I did a very unique talent called Pic Skating, which is a high performance roller blade assembled to my own ice skate boot. This allowed me to jump and spin on stage, just as I would on ice. Having this original talent really allowed me to share my passion for figure skating with my audience and judges.

8. Who is your biggest role model within the Miss Wisconsin Scholarship Program? This is such a difficult question to just choose one person. There have been countless volunteers, fellow and former titleholders, pageant moms and directors who have been role models for me during my 10 years in MAO. Abby Ryan, Beth Vogt, Judy Smith, Jean Reinhart, Sally Meyer, Katie Warner, Kristina Smaby Schoh, Elizabeth Kramer Smaby, the Skogen family, the Butler family, and SO MANY other people!

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9. Favorite comfort food outside of competition mode? Sushi and pasta

10. Who is your favorite Miss America? Why? I’ve been fortunate enough to go to nationals with Teresa Scanlan. She’s a very down to earth and loving girl. She was such a pleasure to get to know on a personal level.

11. How would you describe the feelings you had when you won your first local? What goes through your mind when you are standing on stage and you hear your name called? It was the greatest feeling. I said my name and contestant number in my head repeatedly and then the emcee actually announced it. I was shocked and filled with so much emotion. It was finally the realization that all my hard work was paid off. I kept reaching up to touch the crown as it was being placed on my head, to actually grasp the reality. I was extremely grateful and filled with joy!

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12. If someone says, “You’re a beauty queen, what’s the relevancy of a pageant in today’s society,” what would you say to them? Over the years I’ve been called a princess, queen, beauty queen, Miss America, beauty pageant winner…
None of this is a negative connotation. Maybe to some people they don’t know the proper title and that’s perfectly fine. They all mean well and if I were not raised in this world, I’d make the same connection. To me, we are indeed beauty queens but that’s not the full extent. We are strong, beautiful, independent, loving and hard working young ladies who want to make a difference in our community.

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13. What is the most memorable moment you’ve experienced as a contestant/titleholder? I was fortunate enough to meet this beautiful young girl, Delainey, who I still stay connected with everyday via social media. She’s always going to have a place in my heart. D has been a great role model for me as she has battled cancer and has defeated many obstacles. She’s my little ray of sunshine and I am so happy that she was a part of my journey!

14. How has your involvement influenced your life? I can certainly say it’s helped me nail every single job interview. At the end of a interview, in fact, the interviewer actually complemented me on my skills. It’s life skills like this that I have to thank MAO and it’s volunteers for. MAO sets young woman up for great success not only during their time in pageants but for the rest of your life.

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15. What advice would you give to fellow sisters, contestants, and young girls looking to one day compete for a title? Be yourself, being confident in your own skin and embrace your unique self! Work tirelessly for your goals, never be scared to ask for help and utilize all your resources available. Lastly, have fun and make friends because these contestants become lifelong friends!

16. As a woman who has aged out of competing, reflecting back, how would you sum up your experience using only one word? Rewarding!

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Sisterhood Spotlight: Tara Pizer

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
It’s a saying we’ve all probably uttered to ourselves before or told someone else, but for this Sisterhood Spotlight, that saying runs a little deeper than a form of verbal expression. I had the opportunity of first meeting Tara when I was Miss La Crosse/Oktoberfest 2012 and she was Miss Southern Wisconsin 2013, during our time in Oshkosh for Miss Wisconsin. We’ve experienced our journeys throughout the Miss America Organization with one another and I’ve witnessed her perseverance, passion, and dedication to this incredible scholarship program time and time again. Not only were we able to room together during Miss Wisconsin 2014 week, but we’ve had the chance to foster a friendship through our interactions, experiences, and love for the Wisconsin Badgers. I can truthfully say that I am extremely proud of the trials and tribulations she has endured and overcome in order to reach her goals and the continuous drive she holds deep in her heart for not giving up on her dreams. Love you pretty lady! XO
Name: Tara Pizer
 
Hometown: Richland Center, WI
 
Education: UW- Madison Alumni with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Saint Mary’s Master of Arts in Health Care Administration
 
Dream job: Administrator of a Skilled Nursing Facility
 
Favorite color: Aqua
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 1. What inspired you to get involved with the Miss America Organization? My grandma! When I was little, she wanted me to be the next Shirley Temple. Grandma enrolled me in my first dance class and even premed my hair so I would look like Shirley. My Grandma always wanted me to be involved in the community and music, which I believe set the foundation for me to get involved in the Miss America Organization.
 
2. Tell us about your first MAO pageant. I was Miss Coulee Region’s Outstanding Teen when I was seventeen years old and as a “Miss” I competed for Miss Madison Capital- City when I was eighteen years-old. I had no idea what I was doing! I remember for the closing at the end of the interview I just stood there and said “Thank you” and walked out not know what a closing was.
 
3. What is/was your platform and why did you choose it? My platform is Giving a Meaning to Every Tomorrow- Cystic Fibrosis Awareness. My mom suffers from Cystic Fibrosis, which is the number one genetic killer disease in the world. There is no cure for CF and the average lifespan is 37 years old.
 
4. What is your favorite phase of competition, why? It sounds silly, but I love lifestyle and fitness. Before I won my first local title, I was overweight. My eating habits were awful and included multiple bottles of Diet Mountain Dew a day. After I won, I knew I needed to change my lifestyle if I wanted to do well at state, so I worked extremely hard and lost 35 pounds. I have been able to keep the weight off for three years and am extremely proud of how I look because I have to continually be aware of what I am putting in my body and how I exercise. Although most people dread this area of competition, I love it because it has changed my life.
 
5. Style, Service, Scholarship, or Success? Service. There is nothing more rewarding than giving back.
 
6. What titles have you held and what were some of your biggest accomplishments or most cherished memories during each of them? Never in a million years did I think I would go to Miss Wisconsin. I competed twelve times before I won my first local title. I have a silly name for each year.
 
  • Miss Southern Lakes 2013: The Underdog! This was the year my life changed. I learned who I was as a person and I learned how to push myself beyond my comfort zone. No one expected me to do well at state because it had taken me twelve attempts to get a title and I had placed first runner up at 4 other local pageants that year. I surprised everyone when I made top 11 at Miss Wisconsin, and I will always be proud of the amount of time and dedication I put in as Miss Southern Lakes.
  • Miss Belle City 2014: The Big Noise! As Miss Belle City, I learned how to let go and be myself in every area of competition, as well as at volunteer events.
  • Miss Coulee Region 2015: Full Circle! I was finally able to represent my hometown as well as hold the “Miss” title to the teen title I held in high school. I learned how much support I have. I was shocked at the amount of directors, board members, and other contestants who reached out to help me. I will forever be grateful.
  • Miss Wisconsin Central 2016: ONE SHOT! I am aging out this year, so I am giving it my all and I am going to leave this year with no regrets.

IMG_16697. What is/was your talent and what do/did you enjoy most about performing it? Tap dancing. Tapping allows me to express this sassy side of my personality that most people don’t get to see when they are talking to me.

8. Who is your biggest role model within the Miss Wisconsin Scholarship Program? My first director, Caitlin Machol. I don’t know where I would be without her and her amazing family. She was extremely successful in the Miss America Organization when she competed as well as holding the title of Miss Wisconsin USA 2007. I will always value her, her time, and her opinions. Since I don’t have any siblings, I consider her my big sister.
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 9. Favorite comfort food outside of competition mode? POPCORN! However, I still eat popcorn in competition mode. My mom and I always have a pot of air popped popcorn on Sunday nights when I am home. It is a long-standing tradition.
 
10. Who is your favorite Miss America? Why? Mallory Hagan. Maybe it is the fellow tapper in me, but if I were to pick a Miss America I relate with the best, it would have to be her. I love her enthusiasm and openness about who she is and what she stands for.
 
11. How would you describe the feelings you had when you won your first local? What goes through your mind when you are standing on stage and you hear your name called? Complete shock. Maybe it is because I have been the first runner up seven times, but I always hear my name in my head when the first runner up is being called, so when I am called as the winner, I fall to the floor.
 
12. If someone says, “You’re a beauty queen, what’s the relevancy of a pageant in today’s society,” what would you say to them? I usually get a bit sassy and tell them pageants in the Miss America Organization are not based on beauty and follow up with informing them on what the portions of competition are, my accomplishments in the organization thus far, and what I have gained from being involved. 
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 13. What is the most memorable moment you’ve experienced as a contestant/titleholder? I was volunteering a CMN fundraiser at the Children’s hospital in Milwaukee and I saw a young boy and his mother leaving the building wearing Cystic Fibrosis shirts. Usually I wouldn’t chase after someone trying to leave the hospital, but something pushed me to run after them. I stopped them to ask if one of them had CF (the young boy) and I informed them about my mom. The boy’s mother started crying and said thank you to me for giving her hope that her son could grow up and live a fulfilling life similar to my mother’s.  
14. How has your involvement influenced your life? Words can’t justify what my involvement in this organization has done for me. To name a few, it has pushed me to be a better person, to stand up for what I believe in, and to achieve academic goals I never thought were possible.
 
15. What advice would you give to fellow sisters, contestants, and young girls looking to one day compete for a title? Never give up. I am the prime example of perseverance in this organization. Most girls would just give up, but because I continued to believe, I have been successful in this organization. All of the tears and sleepless hours are more than worth the benefits this organization provides.  Even if the goal isn’t in the Miss America Organization, never give up on your dreams. “Can’t never did a thing”.
16. As a woman who has aged out of competing, reflecting back, how would you sum up your experience using only one word? Unbelievable