One of my favorite authors, John Green, once wrote "I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity." Although the context in which he included that quote is different than my current state of being, it still explains my feelings. There are no words to describe the number of days I have spent being your National American Miss Ohio Teen. When I competed in my first NAM pageant in 2009, I remember looking at the title holders with so much respect for them and hope to one day have the honor they had. As a shy jr. teen, I never thought that the day would come when all of my hard work and passion would result in a crown and banner, but I am forever changed that it has.
The way I seen it, a crown and banner acts as a megaphone to engage people to be interested in your philanthropy. The moment I won my NAM title I knew it was my turn to make a difference. I decided to begin my own organization called Glamour Gals. Glamour Gals is an opportunity for women with disabilities to feel empowered through various outlets of expression. Throughout my reign, I have enjoyed meeting with these special ladies and encouraging them to believe how important and beautiful they truly are. Along with Glamour Gals, I have had the pleasure of volunteering with YSU's Festival of the Arts, OSU's Diabetes Walk, and the Children's Miracle Hospital's Phi Mu 5k. I have also enjoyed the time I spent sending cards to veterans, volunteering at my local elementary school as a literacy advocate, and making various appearances and riding in parades. During my reign, I was also honored to attend Ohio Open Calls, NAMiss Michigan as visiting royalty, and compete in the national pageant where I later found out I placed in the top 15!
Although saying goodbye to a title that has provided me with so much joy and opportunity is sad, I am excited to watch another girl get to experience all of the amazing moments I have. As my year is coming to a close, I am so at peace because I have faith that God is going to put this crown and banner with the right girl who will appreciate it as much as I have. Contestants, stay present in every single moment of pageant weekend and enjoy being yourself, because you have so much to offer. Rather than stress, relax and look at this pageant as an opportunity to endless possibilities. I cannot wait to meet all of you!