Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Back to school means back to the books. For many of you, it may mean back to a world of bullying.
You can't hit the bullies...but you can hit the books.
For a fall read, check out Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Story.It is a collection of letters written to childhood bullies by authors who write for teens. Now established in their field, they reflect back on the pains they endured along the way. Many talk about how they used their bullies as inspiration for their writing.
This is why I think this book is brilliant: Much like It Get's Better, this is a situation where one generation is reaching back to support the other. Bullying has been around for ages and ages, and so many of these situations have been played out a million times before. By talking about our experiences we can start to build a road map for others. When you share your story you are shining a light. You never know who is at sea and relying on that light to get them home.
Watch for it on shelves September 6th! You can order online to reserve a copy, or to send one to someone you love.
at 8:56 AM
Monday, August 29, 2011
The shots are in! Take a sneak peek!
This month I did a photo shoot with Colleen Katana for my official photos as Miss New York. I met Colleen when I moved to New York City and when I did a shoot with her earlier this year, I fell in love with her work. I describe her style as naturalistic high fashion with a retro spin. We walked all over her Brooklyn neighborhood to find the perfect shot. Now, when it comes to getting pictures, I am a tough critic. My profession has forced me through countless head shot sessions. I am famous for never looking anything like my pictures.
Colleen is a gifted photographer and I cannot thank her enough for sharing her talents with me on these amazing pictures. Check them out on Colleen's blog.
You can also find more on her Facebook page for Katana Photography.
at 7:17 AM
Friday, August 26, 2011
This week was the Miss America's Outstanding Teen Pageant in Orlando. All 53 Miss America contestants came together in Florida to cheer on our teen sisters.
I flew in from Atlanta, having just finished my USO show the night before. At the airport I met my first Miss America sister, Jessica Pray, Miss Iowa! Suddenly it hit me how real all of this is. At the hotel, the meet ups continued. The game was always the same: connect eyes and make a slow realization that you've seen this person in a head shot before, then jump to hug and say hello to what seems like a sister you haven't seen in years.
We attended the preliminary competition for Miss America's Outstanding Teen that night as our first appearance as the Class of 2012. On the way I ran into so many familiar faces and friends! The support was out and ready to cheer for Miss New York's Outstanding Teen, Lauren Molella.
Let me tell you something about these teens. Awesome. That's pretty much all I need to say. They are some of the most accomplished students in the country. I couldn't believe some of the credentials the announcers were reading about these ladies. Oh, those announcers? None other than 9 of our current state titleholders who previously held their state's Outstanding Teen title! Perfect proof of what a wonderful training ground the teen program is for developing success in its contestants.
So how did Lauren do? She danced beautifully, looking like a goddess. Her talent has grown so much since just the summer, and she was already star worthy then. Be proud, New York. Lauren brought it full force in talent.
The next morning I was up early to get ready for camera. We were filming our YouTube clips that will be released in the fall to promote the pageant. We were each given 60 seconds to do whatever we wish. This is so smart, as it will give people all over the country a chance to meet all of this year's contestants and see them being themselves. We only got one take, so this stuff is pretty honest. You are probably dying to see them as much as I am, so I promise to keep you posted!
After our shoot Artistry Makeup gave each of us a consultation. Artistry is the official makeup sponsor for Miss America and gave each contestant a kit of products to try. Soon after it was time to head to dinner with Carey and David. They are the owners of Regalia Magnificent Appearal in Orlando. Regalia is an official gown sponsor for Miss New York and will be helping me select the perfect dress for the big show.
Regalia hosted us for dinner at Maggianos, where we were joined by Florida's Executive Director Mary Sullivan and the Miss America Board of Directors. This was a low key, let-you-hair-down kind of meal where we really got to know one another. Over giant plates of pasta we spilled funny facts, dating stories, and impersonations. Oh, and you know who else lives the non-gluten lifestyle? Miss Michigan, Elizabeth Wertenburg! We were happy as can be with our giant bowls of rice pasta. Thank you to Maggianos for accommodating us!
After dinner and the blossoming of many new connections, we were off to the final night of preliminaries for the teens. On the way in I ran into two gorgeous women who are currently representing New York in the Teens in Training Program. These ladies are learning the skills to become a success, and possibly the next Miss America. They were modeling a customizable wrap dress for their onstage introductions. They looked great, I loved seeing them!
Tonight, we too got to introduce ourselves from stage. Thank you to everyone who screamed for me, you are rock stars and made me feel like one! We showed everyone where the heart is, folks! New York continued to represent as Lauren stepped onstage that night in her evening gown, flowing across stage in a dark blue that would set your heart on fire. She spoke wonderfully when asked about how to help teens deal with body image. Once again, she made us proud.
A 4am wakeup was well worth the day ahead: today we were going to Disney World!We got to spend an entire day as special guests at the park, greeted by all of our favorite Disney friends!
You will see footage of our visit at the Miss America Pageant, and throughout the next year on ABC's website. At one point during filming I realized that if I whispered into the body mic they had placed on me, that the sound guy could hear me no matter how far away. We became good friends right away.
We had lunch in a room that housed props and characters from past shows. Behind the scenes, I found even more familiar faces!
When we turned a corner and I saw an Imperial AT-AT rising from the trees before us, I started to bug out. We were at my favorite ride ever: Star Tours! Suddenly they stop us and tell us we will be getting a chance to ride. At this point I started to audible squeal. Soon enough I was cheering on Jedi training campers as they fought Darth Vader himself onstage, at which point I think it became completely clear that I am a Star Wars geek.Suddenly our guide turned to me and said, "I think we have something for you." Another guide held out a paper, rolled and tied. I unraveled to find an Official Jedi Certification claiming Miss New York as a Jedi Knight in the eyes of the Rebel Alliance. Suddenly, I was nine years old. I exploded with excitement, hugging the staff with joy!! There you have it...Disney magic. The little things that make all the different. That's Disney.
By the time we left Disney, my hair had lost the battle to humidity and we were exhausted from the fun. Yet the night was young and we were soon headed to our evenings event: a Miss America Reception hosted by the Miss Florida Organization. We came to the beautiful home of the Porters who welcomed us in for food and friends. We mingled with guests, dined on incredible food, and were entertained by the dashing Atlantic City Boys. Boy, were they dashing. Boy, did we dance. You would have thought we had been friends for years, and by this point it certainly felt that way. The night was incredible.
And so Saturday came. Time for business. We met early in the morning for our official orientation. We were given the privilege of meeting several special speakers. Joshua Randle, President of the Duke of Edinburgh's Young American Challenge, esteemed military representative Colonel David Sutherland, and none other than Miss America 2011, Theresa Scanlan. There is so many wonderful things to share about this meeting, but instead of spelling them out to you now my goal is to incorporate everything into my work over the next few months. I will be following up on some great initiatives and projects, so stick around to find out more. I cannot thank our speakers enough for sharing their time and projects with us! Elizabeth Crot, Miss Virginia and my room mate for the week, were happy to now have some nap time. We loafed for a bit in our room, watching Parent Trap (the original one, which is truly the best.)
That night was Finals for Miss America's Outstanding Teen. All week we had watched our teen sisters show their stuff. We had enjoyed performances from our reigning titleholder, Lacey Russ (a gifted musician,) as well as vocals from Miss America herself and performances from special artists. After a quick autograph signing we entered the theater for the final verdict.
Ladies and Gentlemen, your new Miss America's Outstanding Teen is...Florida's own Elizabeth Fechtel!! You can read all of the final results here!
Elizabeth is a beautiful girl with a heart of gold, which can be seen from just a moments time with her. She will be an incredible representative of America's Teen population and her fellow contestants.
All week, audience members and teen contestants had been telling me how beautiful and intelligent they found Lauren. I am so pleased that our girl represented herself wonderfully not only onstage, but off as well. That is where the most important interactions happen, and where a person's true beauty can be seen.
Keep up with Elizabeth on the Miss America's Outstanding Teen Website.
at 7:08 AM
Monday, August 15, 2011
The first of the 2012 Miss New York season, the Miss Thousand Islands pageant crowned it's 2012 titleholder this weekend at the Clayton Opera House along the St. Lawrence River. Who? Nice try, but you know I'm going to make you read for it.
I was welcomed to Clayton by the warm embrace of Director Shelby Cohen and her board members! They welcomed me into rehearsal where I met the contestants and their supporters, eventually hopping onstage to help with walk patterns. While working I noticed that something felt funny. My pondering face triggered the quick response from Shelby, "It's a classic opera house. The stage is raked." Now there is a twist in the pageant game that I have never seen before. Don't worry, the rake was no match for our swimsuit-ready quads. Major props to the dancers on this one!
After another day of rehearsals and two waterside meals overlooking the Canadian border, it was game time. I have to comment on how wonderful Shelby is with the contestants. All day she offered help, taught tricks, and gave the contestants whatever support she could. Her energy is absolutely viral. While the girls got ready backstage, I went out to greet the audience. Friends and family poured in along with a surprising number of guests not affiliated with a contestant. The Clayton community has developed a love for this pageant and interest in following along each year. Everyone understood the value of what would happen tonight.
Light's went down, the music began, and before we knew it...ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to introduce you to your new Miss Thousand Islands 2012,
As Allison took her first step forward in sash and crown, my eyes welled up. My journey began in a moment like this and what a privilege it will be to stand beside so many women as they go through this experience. I refer not just to Allison. I did not make it here on my first shot. In fact, I had never had an interest in going to Miss America when I first got involved. I was a first runner up at a local pageant at 18 years old, proud as can be to have been recognized and to come so close to representing my area. That one dip into the system rippled into my life for years to come, leading me here today. It's an old actor's adage: You never know who is in the audience. More than that, you never know what you will discover about yourself in this process.
Congratulations to Allison on her exciting year ahead!! Congratulations also to the contestants for representing themselves so beautifully all weekend long. It was a pleasure to meet each of you and hope to follow you on your future journeys. Thank you to the Miss Thousand Islands Organization for letting me be part of this event and to the entire community for showing such substantial support! Each of you play a part in the opportunities we can provide for young women throughout this state.
Keep up with Allison on the Official Miss Thousand Island Facebook Page!
at 3:27 AM
Saturday, August 13, 2011
For the fourth and final Children's Miracle Network Hospital visit for the week, I went north to Watertown to visit the Samaritan Medical Center. We are only an hour's drive from Clarkson University where I spent my freshman year. Time to represent, let's go Tech!
Samaritan Health Center's CMN Director, Jocelyn, started me out with a quick visit to the ER. The ER? Yes, I learned that Children's Miracle Network recently gave $1 million toward upgrades to this unit. Time to see our dollars in action. They gave me a peek around, and then a little guy waiting with his father got a big surprise when we popped in to say hello!
We met up with fellow titleholder and star of the weekend (you will find out why in my next post) Miss Thousand Islands 2011, Morgan Bocciolat! Besides placing top 11 at this summer's competition and winning New York's Favorite Contestant, Morgan has been highly involved with Samaritan Medical Center all throughout her year. Greeting Jocelyn like an old friend, Morgan joined as we continued to tour the hospital.
Now, this post may feel a bit brief, and here is why. When we finally arrived in the pediatric unit, the nurses apologized with a smile. "We are sorry, but we have no patients for you to see." By George, all the children in the Northern area are in good shape today. A blessing for the community, and a timely coincidence for my visit. He laughed as I spent some time with the unit's staff. A life-size Big Bird watched endearingly from the corner. We talked even more about Children's Miracle Network's involvement in improvements throughout this and other units in the hospital.
It appears that many of the renovations and upgrades this hospital required to stay current and effective were supported in some part by CMN dollars. The plaque outside of the renovated ER listed the local organizations who gave to CMN, the list ranging from Watertown business to nearby fraternities. Groups of all types can use this organization as a way to directly improve their community. That is a powerful tool to provide and why we are so lucky to have CMN Hospitals throughout New York.
Thank you to Jocelyn for taking the time to tour me around, as well as her staff, my new buddy in ER, and Miss Thousand Islands 2011! Looks like I will be back soon!!
at 6:32 AM
Friday, August 12, 2011
I was up bright and early for a visit to the Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse. Famous for it's unique and kid-centered design, this beautiful location was the third of this week's Children's Miracle Network Hospital visits.
I was met by Kathleen from Public Relations at the hospital entrance where a farmers' market was setting up in the parking lot. She brought me upstairs and from the moment I walked in I thought I was in Disneyland. Every wall a different color, we stepped off the elevator and into the lobby where a Tim Horton's and Coldstone were busting with parents grabbing a morning coffee and treat. I was brought into the "tree house", a room specially designed for events and guests. Floor to ceiling glass walls across half of the room gave a beautiful view into the distance of Syracuse. The sunlight danced through several colored panels that made the room glow with energy. Child Life Specialist Gina was waiting for us, and after speaking with several local media representatives she introduced me to the patients who had gotten up early to come say hello.
We showed off our favorite cell phone apps, talked about our families and pets, and laughed about funny pageant facts and personal stories. I even got to hear about one patient's beautiful young girlfriend. A tiny patient with the biggest blue eyes of all time came in mommy's arms to say hello, quickly transferring to mine in an effort to steal away the crown I had brought to share. He happily grasped it as we continued to laugh and share stories. At one point, I serenaded a young patient who had told me about his ambitions of becoming a police officer and army man. A little "God Bless America" was certainly in order.
One patient came out to see me who asked that no pictures, video, or recordings be taken of her. The staff cleared away the press and any cameras almost instantly, making the room as comfortable as possible for her so she could relax while saying hello to me. I was so pleased with how quickly the staff responded to her request, and this is a perfect example of what I saw all morning. This hospital rolls out the red carpet for its patients and their families, customizing every detail for a kid-friendly environment. The media representatives stayed all morning, making it clear that the support for this hospital's patients extends past these walls and out into the community. What an outstanding environment and blessing for the Syracuse community!
Thank you to Gina and Kathleen, the staff and media representatives for taking time to meet me and hang out, and to my new friends for waking up early to share time with me! It was a fantastic morning and I can't wait to be back soon!
You can help me support this hospital. Help me raise $1000 for Children's Miracle Network to benefit their New York State hospitals, just like this one. Learn how here!
So, after my visit Kathleen took me out to the farmers' market where I made a visit to Yum Yum Bakery. I got myself a cookie, and you want to know why? Because they were gluten free!!! Thank you to Yum Yum for creating such delicious treats and supporting the gluten free community!
at 1:31 PM
Thursday, August 11, 2011
This morning I hit the road to go west to the land of my favorite hockey team for a visit to the Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo. This is the second of this week's four Children's Miracle Network hospital visits.
Tara, Child Life Specialist for the hospital, welcomed me up to the tenth floor where patients were already waiting to meet me in the playroom. Murals covered the walls, and closets of toys seemed to be busting at the seams. I started introducing myself to each patient, and suddenly time started to fly. I ended up spending over an hour in there...singing songs, trying on tiaras, and cracking up about everything from siblings to our favorite hobbies. One young lady wore my local title crown the entire time, so comfortable in it that I almost forgot it was mine!
After our time in the playroom we went around to some of the private rooms to make surprise visits (my favorite part!) I am in love with the intimacy of this hospital, how staff knew each patient and each room was filled with their favorite things; art projects, magazines, cartoons blasting on the TV.
On my way out I was stopped by a grandmother who had been with us during the playroom hour. She wanted to tell me that her granddaughter had been here for several weeks, and doctors are still trying to get to the bottom of the seizures she had been having. This sounded so much like what my brother, Peter, went through. Up in the room, her granddaughter and I had been chatting. I was asking her questions as she nodded answers, then started to say words and talk with me. She told me all about her family and then tried on a crown. Grandma told me this was the most responsive they have seen her since she arrived in the hospital. I was blown away. To think that I facilitated a smile much less a step forward for her was everything I could have wanted to accomplish this year. This is why Children's Miracle Network Hospitals are so wonderful. They provide comforts and fun that can help a girl like this forget her fears and troubles. I am excited to keep in touch with her family and hear about her progress.
Thank you to Tara and the staff, to the parents who played along, and to all my new friends who passed the day with me!! This visit was the most moving experience of my title thus far, and one that will fuel me as I move forward.
at 6:18 PM
Today is the day! Did you eat your ice cream?
Today is Miracle Treat Day at Dairy Queen, benefiting the Children's Miracle Network. $1 or more of every Blizzard purchased goes toward the Children's Miracle Network Hospital in your local area! That's right, local. While you savor sweetness you are saving lives right in your home community.
I am on my way to visit the Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo, the area's CMN hospital, but stopped at the nearby Diary Queen to show my support. What's my flavor? I indulged in a turtle pecan cluster Blizzard. Making a difference never tasted so good. Store Manager Mike sure mixed it up strong for me.
So run out to show your support for the Children's Miracle Network today at your local Dairy Queen!
On a diet? Can't make it to DQ? Already did and want to give more support? No problem! Visit my official fundraiser page and help me raise $1000 for New York's Children's Miracle Network Hospitals! Together, we can help make the wonderful hospitals like those I am visiting this week even better, dollar by dollar.
at 1:21 PM
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Today I kicked off my tour of the Upstate New York Children's Miracle Network Hospitals with a visit to the Golisano Children's Hospital of Rochester, my hometown hospital! This is the first of four Children's Miracle Network Hospital visits I am making this week in Upstate New York.
Betsy, Director of Development for CMN at this location, started my visit with a trip to the playroom. This former outdoor play deck had since been turned to a multi-season room, with glass paneling across the ceiling that allowed the room to soak in natural sunlight. Sliding glass doors led to the open-air half of the deck where kids could throw basketballs and hang out at picnic tables to enjoy the summer breeze. Several young patients were busy coloring. I joined in, snipping out pictures from magazines to collage together. Besides the craft supplies, the room was filled with books, games, and toys of all types.
Oh, and dogs! Riley the Therapy Dog came by to say hello to me and the patients! With so many wonderful things going on, it was hard to remember that we were still at a hospital!
We were met by Child Life Specialist Rachel and after crafts were done she took me to the other floors to surprise patients in their rooms. With each room I stopped at, staff checked to see if the patients wanted any games, snacks, or company from some of their volunteers. One patient updated Rachel on a trivia war he was having with one of the nurses. The staff was outstanding, going out of their way to make sure each patient was busy with something they loved. So personal, so fun!
Ok, here is the kicker...Tom Golisano just donated another $20 million toward the construction of a new building for the children's hospital!! The new facility will expand on the already impressive services and treatments available...what an exciting venture, and such a blessing for the Rochester community!
Thank you to Betsy, Rachel, the incredible staff, and all of my new friends for letting me come in to say hello!! I can't wait to come back soon!
at 5:45 PM
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
On Thursday, I insist that you go eat some ice cream!
Why? Because August 11th is Miracle Treat Day, and participating Dairy Queens will donte $1 or more of every Blizzard purchased to your local Children's Miracle Network Hospital.
That means that the Children's Miracle Network hospital in your area will receive the support. You will helping to improve the lives of local children with every sweet bite.
Visit the Miracle Treat Day Page to learn more.
Can't afford the calories? You can help me reach me raise money for Children's Miracle Network on my official fundraising page!
at 10:26 AM
Sunday, August 7, 2011
This year marks the 350th birthday of New York City's largest borough, and I joined Borough President James Molinaro for the first annual St. George Waterfront Festival! Rows of vendors from across Staten Island lined the St. George Esplanade for a day of events and live music in celebration.
I had the pleasure of getting to appear with fellow title holder, former Miss America's Outstanding Teen and Staten Island native Maria DeSantes, Miss Staten Island 2011! I haven't seen her since competition week and let me tell you, she looked amazing. We spent the afternoon meeting chatting with visitors and snapping pictures as musical acts filled the atmosphere with sound. Mr. Molinaro took us to see the stars of the event (no pun intended), the Macy's Balloons! This is the first time that they have been brought out for the public outside of their use in the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Undeniably the celebrity hit of the day.
The highlight for me was the pizza eating contest. No, I did not enter, but only because of my gluten allergy. In my pre-allergy days I could have smoked the competition. We joined onstage as three contestants in the men and women's division scarfed down as much Carmelo's Pizza in four minutes as possible. Did I mention that the pizza was made in a portable brick oven? Carmelo's is completely portable. The winner of the men's division stuffed the whole hot, juicy pie down with ease. The women's champion finished not far behind. Mr. Molinaro was such a ham as host. Stomach aches ensued.
I love human connection and any event that creates an opportunity for people to come together. Staten Island does that so well. It was a pleasure to get closer with the community where the Miss New York Pageant now calls home. Thank you to Mr. Molinaro for letting us join you for this festive day, to Miss Staten Island for being my date, and to all the community members and visitors who made today such a beautiful celebration!!
at 2:34 PM
Tonight I got to support yet another arts-based organization. I attended the Rolling Stone August Cover Reveal benefiting Music Unites. Music Unites is a non profit that brings music education to underfunded schools, teaching people the diversity and connective power of music and empowering future artists by providing performance opportunities. Tonight was all about The Sheepdogs, the winners of the "So You Want To Be A Rock & Roll Star" contest.
The contest began at the start of the year and featured 16 undiscovered bands for the chance to battle it out for the chance to be on the cover. As winners, The Sheepdogs graced the cover of Rolling Stone for the August issue, the first band to do so without being represented by a major record label. Tonight's party was the reveal of the new cover and a celebration of the band's new presence in the industry. Check out their music, you'll figure out why they won the vote.
The rooftop of the Empire Hotel was packed. At one point I rode the elevator with Larry David (I totally froze up, I have such respect for that man.) Celebrities rolled in to show their support, and The Sheepdogs were treated like the rockstars they are the entire night.
Congratulations to The Sheepdogs for their win, and thank you to Rolling Stone and Garnier Fructis for hosting such a killer party in support of Music Unites!
In The News:
Garnie Fructise and Rolling Stone Cover Reveal Patrick McMullen
Rolling Stone Rocks the Empire Hotel Guest Of A Guest
at 1:52 PM
Monday, August 1, 2011
Tonight I was out to support the New York City Dance Alliance Foundation at their "Bright Lights, Shining Stars!" Gala. This non-profit supports excellence in the field of dance, empowering the next generation of dancers through education and scholarships. The event was held at the Skirball Center for Performing Arts at New York University and honored this years scholarship recipients as well as jazz legend Roberta Flack as the first ever recipient of the Ambassador of the Arts Award.
The evening featured over two hours of to-die-for performances. Can you guess that I was in heaven? From Smokey Joe's to In The Heights, we got to see some of Broadway's best. Yet that is not all! Also taking the stage were student performers from across the country, many of them recipients of the 2011 NYCDAF Scholarships (which totaled close to $60,000!) These young dancers absolutely stole the show! Their energy was intoxicating and their technique was to die for. The night ended with a gracious acceptance speech from Ms. Flack, whose words made it quite obvious why she was worthy of the honor. It was slightly surreal for me to be there supporting a woman who I so deeply admire.
The event was filled with interesting guests, including the star of Carousel on the West End Jeremiah James (a Rochester native, hooray!!), Food Network Star Finalist Chris Nirschel, Come Fly Away's Karine Platadit, Real Housewife Ramona Singer, Billy Elliot's Tade Biesinger, as well as all the young dancers who had joined for the evening.
Most exciting celebrity find of the night? Miss Texas Outstanding Teen Reilly Johannsen and Miss Utah's Outstanding Teen Tiare Keeno!!! Can you imagine my excitement when two beautiful young women came up and told me they are part of the Miss America organization? It was an honor to get to meet and chat with them, and I cannot wait for them to meet Lauren! With the Outstanding Teen pageant coming up in August, they are in the final prep phase and yet still traveling to engage in their craft. It was wonderful to meet some of the young women who so beautifully exemplify what the Miss America's Outstanding Teen program is about.
Congratulations to Roberta Flack for receiving this incredibly auspicious award. Also, to all of this year's scholarship recipients!! I am so honored to have seen your work and hope someday we will be sharing a stage together, for you are truly the next generation of stars. Thank you to NYCDA Executive Director Joe Lanteri for organizing such a beautiful celebration of art. It was an honor to be there to support your organization!!
at 11:21 PM
Today I had the honor of being a distinguished guest speaker at New York University for the Women's Communication course. I was asked to come in and discuss my experience with pageants, beauty, and intellect as they relate to successful women in modern culture.
This was my first time on the other side of a classroom, and I could tell that my audience was not sure how to react to a "beauty queen." I suspected as much, and dove right into talking about my background, my work under the title, and the academic support I have received through the Miss America Organization. They quickly warmed up, and over the course of almost three hours I answered questions ranging from, "why butt glue?" to, "how does one profit from something that appears to require so many expenses?" I shared my most candid thoughts, insights, and experiences. We topped things off with a practice round of on-stage questions. As nervous as they were, they nailed them!
I had a wonderful time and enjoyed the opportunity to speak honestly about what I have seen and learned in this program. Apparently the students enjoyed it too, as I have been told I was the highest rated presenter for the course and was asked to return in the Fall! I think it's amazing that the NYU students and staff are so interested in learning about and discussing the Miss America Organization, and am so honored to facilitate that converstation.
Thank you to the students for allowing me to talk about my organization, and to Professor George Elian for inviting me into your classroom!
at 10:59 PM