June 17, 2012 has come and gone by like many other days. But for 18 phenonmenal young women in DC and yours truly, it will truly be remembered for a lifetime. On that beautiful Sunday, the Miss District of Columbia Scholarship Pageant, a preliminary to the Miss America Pageant, was held at the University of the District of Columbia. Though the evening ended with just one lucky lady – the gorgeous, smart, talented, and incredibly driven Allyn Rose – receiving the crown, sash, and opportunity to represent DC on the Miss America stage, I know I am not alone in saying that all 19 of us took home priceless prizes.
This is the Miss DC prize package:
- Poise – The ability to gracefully walk in 5 inch stilettos is not innate – especially when walking before a group of the nation’s top executives, lobbyists, entrepreneurs, and pageant aficionados! The pageant helped each of us learn how to hold our head up high, command the attention of the entire room, and smile (even when a Marine is stepping on your gown).
- Strength – Working out should be a priority in our lives, but it definitely takes a backseat in America when there is so much else to do. When you are required to be on stage in front of hundreds of people in a bikini, working out and eating healthy becomes part of the daily routine. I am so grateful for that and cannot wait to keep it up! My body is so much happier and I have the energy I need to successfully get through my busy days.
- Understanding – Preparing myself for the interview portion of the competition really was like taking a full course load for school because the 10-minute private, panel interview with the judges requires a breadth of knowledge and understanding of all the current events and controversial issues. They can and will ask just about anything – whether it is your opinion on gay marriage or tax reform – and it is all fair game. Sometimes, I did more research than I did in college as a political science major when I prepared for the interview!
- Sisterhood – I have said it before and I will say it again: That catty, dumb pageant girl image was nowhere to be found in my experience. The 18 women I have been honored and blessed to compete against in the Miss DC pageant are absolutely awe-inspiring women I am proud to call my sisters. Not only are they smart, dedicated, beautiful, talented, and committed, but they are also genuinely nice.
- Confidence – Competing in a pageant, baring not just the body you have worked hard for and the talents God has given but also who you are as a person is not easy. The fear of rejection alone is enough to make most people run and take cover. However, with a good dose of faith in the person that God created me to be, I was proud to show the judges, my family and friends, and the rest of the audience the woman that I am.
- Gratitude – So blessed to have a loving family willing to support and encourage me to follow all my dreams, friends who are so generous with their time and help, and the best boyfriend who stands by my side through absolutely everything. The entire pageant experience is a testament to just how amazing the people in my life are.
- Faith – There are so many ways I have grown thanks to my experience as a finalist for Miss DC. The greatest among them has been my spiritual development. Trusting His plans for me and loving the way He created me got me through the entire pageant.