This is just some insight into my first pageant in the Miss.America Organization and what it brought to me. It also includes what I hope to get out of competing this season and in the future. Growing up, I always had an interest in competing in pageants but never had the self confidence to actually get on stage. I finally decided to compete this past spring and was nervous from the second I dropped my paperwork into the mail. Little did I know I was in for the ride of a lifetime.
I showed up to the first rehearsal and knew absolutely nobody. I was dreading being the “new girl.” However, all the Miss contestants were so friendly and welcoming. Every rehearsal I felt more and more confident on stage. This was a confidence that I had never really experienced before and once I started feeling that way I couldn’t really kick it. Even in my everyday life, I started feeling better about myself.
Sharing leadership with the world was a huge reason why I loved competing. Not only in my platform but also in my talent, I got to show the judges and audience my true passion. The amount of influence and pure bliss I felt while giving my leadership-based monologue on stage was close to life changing. The fact that I had the courage to go up there in front of an auditorium of people and share something I love was unbelievably empowering.
This organization is so much more than the ordinary person would expect. It revolves around instilling confidence in women and girls. The promotion of friendship and family like atmosphere drew me in and is a fantastic part of getting involved. The organization prides itself on being the largest provider of scholarships to girls in the world, that is truly amazing. We also have donated over $15 million to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in 10 short years. Being someone going into pediatric medicine, that fills my heart with happiness. To help the cause feel free to visit my donation page http://missamericaforkids.org/Donate/savannahrf. This will not only help sick children but help me continue to compete.
Although I didn’t win and I experienced some technical difficulties at my first pageant, I don’t regret anything that happened that evening. I learned more than I could ever imagined and will never forgot the feelings I had that night. It is so thrilling knowing this isn’t the end. My next pageant is in just a couple weeks followed by another one next month. I truly can’t wait to get back on stage and try my hardest to show those judges all I have to offer. I hope this season to really get a grip of what competing is like and what it will take to make a difference in someone’s life if I were to win. My journey to a Miss title has just begun and I can’t wait to see all that this organization brings to my life.
This week I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute at Indiana University. At UIFI, I got to meet Greek Life leaders from all the country that want to improve their chapters and communities. It was the experience of a lifetime and I feel so blessed that Kappa Delta provided me with a scholarship to attend.
I have been to many conferences and camps before this but UIFI was much different than anything I had ever done. I bonded so quickly with my home chapter. From night one, we spent as many moments together as possible. Everyone was so insightful and contributed so incredibly much to our group. They may have made fun of my accent every chance they got but I wouldn’t trade them for anyone in the entire world. I feel so lucky to have all of them in my life. They all are going to do amazing things for their chapter, community, and the world.
This conference gave me so much to bring back to Kappa Delta and the Wayne State Greek Life community. The tools I was given will help improve things like participation, increasing chapter moral, and over all the culture of my chapter. UIFI is such a special place where everyone wants to do so much good in the world they don’t even know where to start. We spent hours talking about the hard stuff facing Greek Life and spent just as many hours laughing about any thing and every thing you could think of. Karen, the lead facilitator for the conference, made a huge impact on me. She put a lot of energy into investing in me personally and made me experience even more amazing. I will never be able to thank her enough for the advice, time, and ideas she gave me.
The people I met at UIFI made a huge impact on me. I was truly blessed when God put all these individuals in my life: from Hunter and I making fun of each other from day one, to Blair giving me pageant advice, to Tyler and I singing to country music all the way back to Indianapolis. Every person I met helped make the experience what it was. The conference gave me so much hope when it comes to not only Greek Life as a whole but our country. The future will be bright with people like these leading.
This week I started my sophomore year at Wayne State University. I have had an amazing week. It started out with a huge campus wide event called Festifall. Festifall is an event where students get the opportunity to explore all that WSU has to offer from clubs to university departments. They all have tables and give out tons of free stuff! I had the opportunity to represent WSU HOSA as the chapter’s Vice President. The event went great, we had over 200 students show interested in HOSA.
Wednesday I started attending classes. I had a great time and all my professors are fantastic. I can already tell this semester is going to be my best one yet. Everyone in my classes was so nice and friendly. Heck, I made friends on the first day! Walking around on an urban college campus was much difference than my previous college experience. There was so much going on and so many people. I thrived off all the energy. It was a great start to the fall semester! I am looking forward to all the opportunities I am presented with during the upcoming months.
Being the feminist that I am the “Gender and Leadership” workshop was really important to me. Women leaders are still, in 2016, not as common as they should be. The idea that women aren’t strong enough or don’t know enough is a bunch of crap! According to research, women earn 57% of bachelor degrees, 60% of masters degrees, and more than 50% of doctoral degrees. I don’t want to hear women aren’t smart because you can’t argue with years of statistics. It has been proven that women lead in a more democratic style compared to men who usually go with a more direct style. This usually leads to better results because people feel more welcomed and open to share ideas. Being the next generation of ethical leaders, we can help to change this. I don’t blame men, I blame societies standards. I think it is important to also acknowledge agender people as well. Someone’s gender or lack of gender doesn’t affect how effective of a leader they are. I am committed to getting female leaders recognized in society’s eyes. I hope to one day hold a high leadership position in the National Athletic Trainers Association(NATA) or the American Kinesiology Association(AKA). I will not let others suppress me simply because I am a female.
My year at CMU has introduced me to some amazing people. I hope I impacted any of them as much as they impacted me. I may be over 100 miles away but I will always remember and appreciate everything they did for me. Here are just a few from the countless number of great people I met this school year.
Morgan and Derek- These two humans are truly gems in this world. I had a hard time making friends here but these two were always trying to break me out of my shell. Whether that be introducing me to new people or inviting me to go out. I could always count on these two for a word of advice or a listening ear. Derek is such a passionate intelligent person and the world needs more people like him. Morgan is truly a darling human being. She is not only beautiful on the outside but she is beautiful on the inside too. I will be visiting Cheboygan and Port Huron in my future!
2. Madi- She may be the most dedicated person I have ever met. I thought I loved school and learning then I met Madi. Not only is she majoring in math but she manages to kick butt at it too. She is always will to do that it takes to learn as much as possible. I wouldn’t have survived in or out of the classroom without her. She was always willing to help me with class work or with boy problems. We have spent so much time together talking about life and future plans. I can’t wait to see all the students she impacts when she becomes a teacher in a few years. She is going to be amazing.
3. Teddy- Whenever I talk about Teddy, which is often, I tell people “God decided he wanted sunshine in a person and made her.” I could write about Teddy forever. I was so lucky to have met Teddy at competitions day. She is the kindest person I have ever met, no questions. She would do pretty much anything for anyone. From our daily breakfasts to our late night Bachelor viewing parties I knew I would end up laughing. I always leave Teddy in a better mood than I came. Her commitment to God could inspire anyone. She is so passionate about her faith and I hope to have a relationship with God like that one day.
4. Sara- How I was blessed with such a great mentor, I will never know! Sara has been so helpful this entire school year. From the day I found out she was my mentor, I had probably ask more questions than everyone wants to get. She was always more than willing to help me out in navigating this crazy college life. Her dedication for her education is truly something I admire. With both of us getting a masters to be Physician’s Assistants I can only hope we can support each other on that journey.
5. Ladies of VOX- Never be afraid to stand up for your passion is just one of the many things I learned from joining VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood. VOX is an advocate for women’s health, safe sex practices, and pro-choice. We are an odd bunch but I wouldn’t change anything. These women are the most accepting group I have ever met. We have talked about thing I never dreamed about telling people because there was never any judgment. I hope to continue to advocate for women for many years to come.
To say LDR 200 was different than LDR 100 would be an understatement. In LDR 100, we just had fun and joked around most of the time. Not that I didn’t enjoy it but we didn’t really learn much about leadership. I was excited when I found out LDR 200 was all about learning what leadership really was. Over the course of the semester we were challenged in our ability to explain, show, and demonstrate. We had to facilitate a 15 minute initiative(not a game!) and a 40 minute workshop.
For my initiative, I had goal setting! I got to work with three other people and we created a fun, education initiative to teach the class. We worked really hard and created a really fun deserted island scenario. From what I saw, the class had a fun time and they had a good time competing with the other teams.
For my workshop, I had the path-goal theory. This theory talks about how leaders should motivate their followers through setting goals. According to the theory there are four different types of leaders. We wanted to base our activity on this aspect. I am so proud to say that I created the entire activity we did. We had a list of qualities from the book describing the four types. I came up with “Pin the Trait on the Leader!” The class was split up into groups and tried to figure out which traits corresponded with which type of leader. I was nervous to present but I think we did a great job and I am proud of the entire group.
Every year all the Leader Advancement Scholars are put on a LEAD Team. These teams help create events for CMU and the LI. I was so thrilled to be one of four freshmen chosen to be on the Competition Day LEAD Team! I had the very fun privilidge of being in charge of creating all the posters and signs for the event. My group had oodles of fun! I was lucky enough to get to work with some really stupendous upperclassmen. The day before the competition all of the scholars got together and you could feel the energy flowing through the LI. It was so exciting! The day went to smoothly and everyone had a great time.