You will compete at the Miss High School America Pageant, how will you prepare the contest ? What unique characteristics would you say you bring to the competition?
Right now I'm getting my wardrobe pulled together, practicing my routines, and running through interview questions constantly. With this being my second pageant ever, the first being winning my state title, I'm just trying to be as prepared as possible! I think I have a fresh perspective being new and I want to represent Nebraska the absolute best I can!
HMU: Emerie Jones + Fawnia Garman-Opp
Emerie Jones Gifford
Stephanie Stearley Amanda Patterson Inez Douglas Freeman
Social media seem to play a major role in pageantry nowadays. Do you think this is advantageous to you? Why or why not?
Absolutely! Especially with the BRAVE message, that is all about spreading the message of respect, social media allows us to reach people all around the world. While we all have our state titles, and we do the majority of our service work in our state, social media gives us the chance to make a difference world wide! For me specifically, I am trying to spread the message of inclusion under the umbrella of BRAVE. I have started the Instagram campaign #includingyou, that gives everyone a chance to share how they have brought the BRAVE message into their daily lives. Without social media my campaign would be limited to the people I see daily, which is a much smaller network.
Did you face any moment of disappointment with yourself during the pageant journey, and how did you overcome it?
I wouldn't necessarily call it disappointment, but finding the confidence in myself needed for pageants has been a little tough. I come from the sports world, where confidence is needed, but it's a totally different kind. I've never had to feel totally confident in a gown in front of hundreds of people before. Or stand in front of a panel of judges! I've had to relearn that confidence is definitely not equal to cockiness. Confidence is just what assures people that you are true in what you are saying and someone they can trust to lead others!
We've all seen the stereotypical portrayals of pageant contestants, a la Miss Congeniality, spreading peace, love and beauty throughout the world. How do you think you'll make a difference?
I think I'm already making a difference by putting action behind my words. With the BRAVE message it's all about being kind to everyone and standing up for those who may not be able to do it for themselves. I am putting that action behind my words by volunteering with groups like the Star City Buddy Walk, that spread awareness for Down Syndrome. Most importantly, I am on my school's unified bowling team. This is a sport at my school where I get to bowl with people with disabilities and those without. I am putting my real time and passion into the 'peace, love, and beauty' that I'm trying to spread and think that's what really makes a difference in my community.
What would you advise any young girl out there who has a dream of being a queen one day?
I would say first and foremost to be yourself! There is not this perfect pageant girl mold to fit into, the best girl for the job is your authentic self! I would also say to remember the core of what pageants are about, which I believe is the community service. Find projects you are passionate about and really invest in them. The stage is only a small part of the puzzle! Judges won't know how much your dress costs, but they will be able to see how genuine and honest you are!
Thanks to the beautiful Skylar for the interview. Pageants News wishes you all the very best for Miss High School America pageant.