Monday, July 9, 2012

I have a lot for you all! I hope you can handle this post lol! I have officially completed my first Miss New York pageant and it was the most amazing experience of my life! I learned so many new things and different ways of doing things. It really changes your perspective on everything from your reasons for competing to just how important your platform really is in your life. At least it was that way for me! Upon arriving in Staten Island, I had had barely any sleep but it did not matter one bit because I was so excited it served as my energy source! This is what I had been working towards for so long and I was finally there! We had an appearance right away and were tolde to be on the bus dressed nicely. In the photo below we took a quick picture before boarding the bus. The Hilton had hung a huge welcome sign for us and everyone wanted pictures!
We had a busy day ahead of us and little did we know just how busy lol! We were privileged to visit the Borough President James Molinaro's office and I rode the ferry for the first time! The thing I was the most amazed by was being granted entrance to tour the ground zero sight. My father responded to Ground Zero when he was in the air force and so it meant a lot to me to have such an amazing opportunity. People had to get their tickets months ahead of time and here we were walking in, each crown setting off the metal detector at the entrance haha. We had some extra time so we stopped on the streets to take pictures with those around and at different interesting sights. On wednesday Kailtin Monte brought us to a catholic school where we participated in a Project Empower event based on bullying. We were eacgh assigned a group of outstanding kids. Each had their own personality and they brightened my day tremendously! The children were given a posterboard, some markers and some scrap paper and were then sent to work with their imaginations as their only tool. I was there to help them if they needed anything and to support them. They hardly needed me at all! They were so intelligent and creative all on their own. I let them do what they wanted to do completely because this was their project. Each group prepared a presentation on campaigning against bullying and the winner of the contest would win tickets to the teen pageant in a couple days! A lot of them came :)
 Wednesday night is when everyone became extra focused on competition. We had interviews in the morning and I was contestant number two. I felt so great about my interview and I intensely appreciated the kindness I felt from the judges.  We were given some time to relax and then we were off to the theatre to start our first night of preliminaries! Swimssuit and evening gown was the name of the game on night one! It was so much fun and while I was onstage I realized that is really all that matters and with that I beamed across the stage as if there were no judges at all! It felt great! After each night of prelims we were given time to visit with our families and friends in the lobby of the Hilton. I met with my parents, dianne and Tony, Janet and Kathleen. It was so great to see them after three days apart. Friday night preliminaries were a little more nerveracking f or me because it was my turn for onstage question! I tend to enjoy the challenge though. Desiree Wiley snagged a well deserved win in swimsuit and evening gown in yesterday's competition and Shannon Oliver took talent! They are both great girls and deserved every bit of it! For my talent I sang "A New Life", from Jekyll and Hyde the musical. I was nicknamed "sweet voice" by the one and only Kent! (Our hilarious and very talented director.) I ended up winning the non-finalist talent award at the gala on Saturday night. I was very excited that I
 won an award at my first Miss New York pageant! Colleen
Gagne won Miss Congeniality as well :) One thing is for sure: I was very lucky to have my friends there with me for my first year. A pageant girl should be able to hold her own and remain in control in every situation but even a pageant girl has to admit that it is nice to know someone has your back just in case there is one time you can't be perfect! Colleen, Courtney, Katelynn, Misty and I had a great experience together. Cheers to the Fulton County girls! We were all very flattered to be abloe to chat with an aspiring Miss America by the name of Gabriella Lexer! She was very much interested in what was happening during the week and so my roomate Katelynn Smith skyped with her to fill her in. This young lady founded a program called "Bald for Bucks" and even shaved her own head for the program to create hope for cancer victims. She is the kindhearted girl with a heart of gold that you hear about and are blessed to meet if you cross her path. I know I have told you many times before Gabby but you are such an inspiration and we love you! you can visit Gabriella's blog here: . My teen can NOT go unnoticed let me tell you. This young woman has so much heart and so much maturity wrapped up in a whole lot of talent. I am honored and blessed to be able to say that Madison Manuel is Miss Empire Star's teen. She did an amazing job in the competition and I got to spend some time with her and her mother Robbin who has joined the band of pageant mom's with Dianne and my mom haha. I love you guys very much and I will always be there to support and love you as often as you have done the same for me! Congratulations Mallory Hytes Hagan on your well deserved win!!! I am very much looking forward to the various projects I have in the works right now! I will continue my work as
Miss Empire Star and make my organiuzation proud! I will be volunteering at the Regional Animal Shelter, working on the start of Project empower in upstate New York, visiting the Children's Miracle network hospitals, volunteering at Saturday adoptions at Petsmart and working my tail off to establish my own little pet connection segment in my area on a local radio station or cable network. I am very excited about a certain event I will be organizing and I am pretty much dying to write about it on here but it has to remain under wraps for now! This is going to be an amazing year!