This year, I have the amazing opportunity to reach out to children, teens, and families and not only try to inspire them to make healthy changes in their lives by sharing my story, but also to show them that no one is perfect and that they are beautiful as they are. I’m not afraid to admit that I am not perfect. I had braces with headgear for three years, if I don’t make myself a to-do list every morning my head might fall off, and I don’t succeed at everything I do. I hope to be able to make people realize that they don’t have to be perfect because no one is! I want to force society to acknowledge that everyone has flaws, but, at the same time, everyone is a beautiful and amazing human being.
I believe that every person who enters my life has something to offer me, whether it be friendship, help, or a lesson. Though I still have not figured out what that “something” is for many people who have entered my life, I have a special group of people who give me support, unconditional love, friendship, and lessons to help me develop my own character. My family and close friends have stood behind me through thick and thin and always believed in me. After multiple losses in International pageants, some people suggested that it “just wasn’t for me” or that I should “just give up already!” My family and friends, however, knew how important my platform and the amazing opportunities that the International Pageant System offers were to me, and always encouraged me to persevere. I want to take this opportunity to thank my parents, my siblings, and my best friends for standing behind me and making sure that I never got discouraged. I would not be here without you guys!
This year, I plan to continue my work with the American Heart Association’s Alliance for a Healthier Generation, sharing my story of losing my 12 year old cousin to heart disease and of struggling to overcome low self-esteem and eating disorders to achieve and maintain my own healthy lifestyle. I feel so lucky to have the power to show those who are experiencing the same struggles that they are not alone, as well as the power to transform the word “beautiful”. The word “beautiful” has become so warped by our media and its celebrities, many of whom are so unhealthy and dangerously thin yet are held out as the model of “beautiful”. I have made it my mission to share my story with everyone and change this misperception of beauty and to show everyone that healthy is beautiful. I will travel far and wide to reach out to children and teens everywhere with my message.
I will also promote the AHA’s “Go Red for Women”. “Go Red for Women” is a movement which not only has an alliance with the International system, but is very close to my own heart because over the past year I had to re-evaluate my own lifestyle and chose to “go red” myself, defeating eating disorders, ending unhealthy eating habits, and working every day to maintain a balanced diet and regular exercise. Going Red has had a huge positive impact on all aspects of my life.
In 2009 I was awarded the Gold President’s Volunteer Service Award for having completed over 250 hours of service in one year.
I am currently a sophomore at the University of Maryland, College Park, studying communications and public relations. I hope to someday have a career in public relations.
I love to read, exercise, and play with my little Maltese named “Bear”.
I feel so blessed by God and thankful to Mary and Mel Richardson for the amazing opportunity to be Miss Teen International® 2010. I know I will take full advantage of this chance to make my mark, create change, and touch the lives of others. Please keep up with my blog entries throughout my amazing journey this year at www.theinternationalpageants.blogspot.com !
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