Tiffany: How did you get involved in National American Miss?
Raven: In 2005, I received a brochure in the mail, and I begged my parents to let me participate! I didn’t actually compete until 2010. A close friend competed and spoke so highly of the program that my parents agreed to attend an open call. We were very impressed. I competed last year and I fell in love with the program!
Tiffany: How did you prepare for the National Pageant?
Raven: I practiced, Practiced, and PRACTICED. I started by watching National American Miss YouTube videos and videos from Miss America. I wanted to walk correctly, so I walked around the house in my heels and had my parents videotape me so that I could see myself and what I needed to change, such as my posture and the speed of my walk. I spent a good three hours writing my personal intro. I kept revising it until I felt like it was perfect. Then I practiced it in front of my mirror with a hairbrush as my microphone. The best practice for interview was being able to meet and have conversations with several adults in my first three months as Miss California. I was able to meet with government officials and writers for local newspapers, and like the judges at Nationals, they asked some excellent questions, so that was great preparation. Finally, I spent hours gluing the little jewels on my formal gown, but I love sparkles and I bedazzle everything, so that was actually pretty fun!
Tiffany: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Raven: The best advice that I have ever received is that if I work hard and follow God then everything else will fall into place. During times like finals week in school or even at a pageant, it is so easy to get stressed or anxious, but I try to remember that God has a plan for my life, and that it’s okay to not know what the future holds because the One who holds my future loves me.
Tiffany: What quote, motto or scripture best describes you?
Raven: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding" Proverbs 3:5
Tiffany: What are your plans for the future?
Raven: My future plans include graduating from high school with a 4.0, going to college, and hopefully becoming a news anchor or talk show host. I hope to be happy and be a leader and example to people wherever I go. I also hope to touch the lives of others.
Tiffany: What activities are you involved in?
Raven: I am involved in a lot of activities! I am captain of my school’s cheer team, and I love cheering on the Amador Valley Dons every Friday night at the games. I am also a member of my school’s Chamber Choir, which is a great experience because I love music. I am Vice President of my Sophomore Class, and I am on the Fashion Board at Nordstrom’s. At my church, I am on the worship team and assist in the children’s ministry.
Tiffany: What do you like to do for fun?
Raven: I enjoy spending time with my family. I am blessed with a mom, a dad, and a 5-year-old brother named Ryan. Of course, like any other teenager, I also love texting and going on Facebook! I also enjoy traveling.
Tiffany: What is one item you can’t live without?
Raven: The item I can’t live without is definitely my Bible, but in second place is my IPhone!
Tiffany: Who is your role model?
Raven: My mother is my role model. She inspires me every day. She is beautiful and talented and so smart and she is very kind to everyone she meets. She is one of those people who has the ability to make others feel special every time they come into contact with her.
Tiffany: What is your favorite TV show?
Raven: My favorite shows are Switched at Birth, Make or Break It and Dance Moms. As you can see, I love watching a little bit of drama!
Tiffany: What is the biggest misconception about your generation?
Raven:I think that a lot of people assume that there aren’t goal oriented teenagers who are trying to make a difference anymore. I think that a lot of that comes from the way that we are represented in the media. Instead of a show called Teen Philanthropist or Teen Scholar, we have Teen Mom, and that really creates a stereotype. Being at NAM, and meeting so many smart, talented girls who are really making an impact in their communities has made me realized that people in our generation are going in the right direction, and we can change the world.
Tiffany: What is your most embarrassing moment?
Raven:My most embarrassing moment actually happened my first pageant interview. I was sitting at the interview table with a judge, and everything was going pretty well. The bell rang to switch to the next interviewer, and somehow I managed to get the edge of the tablecloth stuck in my shoe and I dragged the table cloth with me. I was horrified!
Tiffany: If you had three wishes what would you wish for?
Raven: World peace... LOL! If I could have three wishes, I would wish that everyone had all their necessities. I think that every person deserves food, water, shelter, and people who love them. It breaks my heart to know that so many people have so little. My second wish would be to travel all across the world before I go to college. I’ve always wanted to go to a bunch of countries to meet people from all over the world. My third wish, would be to have an unlimited gift card to the mall! What can I say? I love to shop!
Tiffany: If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?
Raven: I would love to go to Europe and experience the culture. I want to see the museums and the opera houses, and go on a tour of the Louvre. It just seems like a cool place to visit and experience.
Tiffany: What is your definition of a NAM girl?
Raven: My definition of a NAM girl is someone who is confident, caring, goal-oriented, and who gives back to others. A NAM girl is a girl with dreams, who is not afraid to work to achieve them.
Tiffany: If you could be on the cover of any Magazine what would it be?
Raven: If I could be on the cover of any magazine, it would be TIME as a woman who changes the world! It’s a big goal, but I am a girl with dreams.
Tiffany: If you were stranded on a deserted island what three things could you not live without?
Raven: If I was stranded on a deserted island, I would have to bring my Bible. My faith is the most important thing to me. I would not be able to live without my relationship with Jesus. The second thing is my iPod because music makes me happy. I would also bring my family. No matter what challenges I face, they are always able to brighten up my day.
Tiffany: What is your most prized possession?
Raven: My prized possession is my Bible because I love the Lord and my relationship with him is the biggest part of my life.
Tiffany: How would your friends describe you?
Raven: My friends would describe me as a leader who loves to have fun and can be really goofy sometimes!
Tiffany: How are you making a difference in your community?
Raven: I am making a difference in my community through volunteerism. I have had the opportunity to work with many organizations and I am willing to help out pretty much wherever I can. Although I do not always wear my crown and sash when I do it, I think that I am still able to be a role model for others by helping in the community.
Tiffany: What is your favorite childhood memory?
Raven: My favorite childhood memory is when my little brother, Ryan, was born. It was one of the happiest days of my life because I had prayed and waited for a brother for so long, and now I love him so much! He will turn six in April, and I think that he’s growing up way too fast!
Tiffany: If you could go back in time and be at any historical event what would it be?
Raven:I would have loved to have been there when our founding fathers wrote the Constitution. For some reason that is just fascinating to me that they were able to come up with this elaborate plan and these rules that have governed our nation for hundreds of years. The process that went into that must have been incredible.
Tiffany: If you could go back in time and meet one person, who would it be and why?
Raven: I would want to meet my great-grandma Beslow. She died before I got the chance to meet her, but everyone always says that I’m just like her. She was known as a spunky go-getter, and from what I’ve heard, she was an amazing woman.
Tiffany: If you could be famous for something, what would you want to be famous for?
Raven: I would want to be famous for helping other people and being a talented woman of class and grace. I think nowadays that’s something that people don’t always appreciate, but I hope to be known as someone who is loving, kind, and who really contributes to the world.
Tiffany: What is your favorite book? And why?
Raven: My favorite book is the Hunger Games! It combines all of my favorite things in one story. It has romance, suspense, adventure, and it’s just a great story.
Tiffany: Where is your favorite place to shop?
Raven:I love shopping at Nordstrom. I have a totally girly style and I love everything in the BP section!
Tiffany: Who is the most influential person in the world now?
Raven: It’s hard to say who is the most influential person in the world. There are so many people who make an impact from presidents and politicians to firefighters and doctors. I think that the most influential people are those who inspire the next generation, such as teachers, parents, and pastors. They help shape the future by preparing kids for the real world.
Tiffany: Who or what inspires you most?
Raven: I am most inspired when I think about my parents and grandparents and great-grandparents who worked hard so that I could have the opportunities that I do today. If they were able to see me now and all of the opportunities that I have in my life, they would be so proud. I want to take advantage of those opportunities; not throw them away. I am so grateful for everything that I have.
Tiffany: What have you learned about yourself since competing in pageants?
Raven: I have learned that when I set my mind to something, I can be very determined to achieve it. I go after my goals, and I am willing to work very hard for them!
Tiffany: What is your definition of success ?
Raven: My definition of success is being confident in who you are and what you have. It is also doing the things that you are passionate about and loving life. Success is also loving who you are.
Tiffany: What advice do you have for future NAM girls?
Raven: My advice is to soak in the experience and really enjoy it! Hundreds of girls compete and there can only be one titleholder, but we can all walk away as winners. If you get so wrapped up in the competition aspect, you won’t be able to grow as a person, so really take advantage of this opportunity. It changed my life.
Tiffany: What do you plan to do with your title this year?
Raven: In my year of service, I hope to really enrich the lives of others and be an example. I hope to inspire girls to have confidence in themselves and follow their dreams. I also want to do lots of volunteer work, because I love giving back to the community.
Tiffany: Tell me about yourself.
Raven: I am a hard-working, yet fun-loving sixteen year old who has big dreams and is working hard to reach them. I love the Lord and my family and my friends. As a sophomore in high school, my life is busy, but I am enjoying the ride.