Chenee White is here to tell you that what you watch on TV from "Toddlers and Tiara" and "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" aren't true! These are the real reasons to enter a beauty pageant... take it from the reigning Miss San Antonio United States 2018.

Pageantry is a doorway for those who want to be on stage, give back, and of course learn more about themselves. Chenee never had the confidence to compete in pageants until recently when she decided to “take action” to her goals and dreams - "Once I decided to no longer allow fear to hold me back, I started to work towards my goals and started to reap the benefits of taking action towards achieving my goals" - she explained.

Once she realized that the difference between where she was at before compared to where she is now is, she decided to “take action” in every area of her life and wasn’t afraid of failure. "Instead I embraced the lessons learned through failure which made me stronger throughout the process."

Chenee White will have the opportunity to compete in the Miss Texas United States Pageant on May 5th at the Josephine Theater in San Antonio, TX. The winner will represent her state in Miss United States 2018.

Did you know ? Miss United States is part of the system known as United States National Pageants, which has seven divisions starting at the age of 8: Little Miss United States, Miss Pre-Teen United States, Miss Jr. Teen United States, Miss Teen United States, Miss United States, Ms. United States, and Ms. Woman United States. 

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Whether it’s being on stage in a swimsuit or facing the judges for a pageant interview, most of us experience some type of nervousness when competing in pageants.  All of a sudden, your heart is racing, and you’re worried that your pageant dreams will go up in smoke.

The Miss Nevada High School contest was Alyssa Fuller's first pageant ever - "I was nervous and I was disappointed that I didn’t start earlier in my life with pageants. I had no experience. Despite my nerves, playing soccer since I was 5 years old has taught me how to work well with others and the importance of respecting everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. I used that knowledge to overcome my fear. We are all different and great in our own way and as long as you work hard for what you want, you will achieve your dreams" - she explained.

As the reigning Miss Nevada High School America Alyssa promotes a program called B.R.A.V.E (Building Respect And Values for Everyone).

Did you know ? The Miss High School America Pageant competition exists for the purpose of providing personal and professional opportunities for high school girls. The goal is to provide outstanding high school girls the opportunity to compete in a pageant system that has the highest of moral values.

Lets know a little more about Alyssa's story and her journey to the crown of Miss High School America through this interview! 

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Many people believe that pageants are anti-feminist and promote archaic ideals of women. However, those who do compete will tell you that their pageant experience is often empowering and encourages them to accomplish things they never thought possible.

The gorgeous Megan Vincetta, who'll be competing for the crown of Miss Universe Great Britain later this year, has always embraced the girl power concept -"Once I got stuck in I knew I had found my tribe. Strong, hard working, intelligent women who all have a strong desire to make a positive change in the world? Count me in!"

Indeed, the Miss Universe Great Britain contest is a celebration of femininity and focuses on personal development while supporting good causes, making friends and having fun all through the glamour of pageantry. The organization places a strong emphasis on the efforts of its candidates towards fundraising objectives. Megan choose to host a self defense class to raise funds and awareness - "I hope to help break the stereotypes with my fundraising campaigns for a sisterhood, MUGB's chosen charity which aids causes including, female genital mutilation, female homelessness, acid attack victims in india and a female anti-poaching group in South Africa. Beauty pageants do still have aspects of peace, love and beauty but I believe it goes further than that with intelligence, integrity and purpose, which I think is becoming more apparent over time" - she explained.

If she wins the title Megan will have the opportunity to represent her country in Miss Universe 2018. Last year the gorgeous Anna Burdzy placed in the Top16. The country has never won the international crown however Amy Willerton secured the Top 10 spot at Miss Universe 2013 pageant. 

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Whether it was making a pinch pot, performing in a play or dance recital, or singing in the choir, most of us can remember participating in the arts during our school years. But arts education doesn’t just teach skills to future practitioners of the arts. It teaches children the creativity, collaboration, and criti- cal thinking skills needed to succeed in the 21st century.

Aliandra Calabrese, who'll be competing for the crown of Miss World Australia 2018, developed Youth Performing Arts Queensland with her family, a non-for-profit organization which provided scholarship positions to disadvantaged young people who would have otherwise been unable to pursue the arts - "The company has given hundreds of children the opportunity to engage with and be mentored by industry professionals" - she explained.

Aliandra's passion is singing and performing, she studied voice at the Conservatorium of Music for 5 years and is currently completing a Diploma of Piano. For many years she has enjoyed participating in musical theatre productions and have had the pleasure of playing lead roles in productions such as Grease and Fame the Musical.

Through studying a Masters of architectural design, Aliandra hopes to have an impact on the built environment in ways that benefit those in need. She wishes to devote herself to initiatives that support women and young girls in developing countries. "Through infrastructural and architectural intervention, I hope to contribute to improving the quality of life of young people and communities in disadvantaged parts of the world."

If she wins the crown Aliandra will have the opportunity to represent Australia Miss World 2018. Miss World Australia holds an annual pageant to identify young Australian women who exemplify beauty, talent, intelligence and compassion. It aims to create and empower role models who will serve as ambassadors to charity, enrich the perception of beauty, and enhance a new strength, energy and spirit for the advancement of women, while positively impacting their communities.

Did you know ? Two Australian representatives have won the Miss World title, in 1968 and 1972.

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For those of you old enough to remember, it was Sept. 18, 1983 when Vanessa Williams, a college student at Syracuse University bested 50 other contestants to become the first black woman to win the pageant. Even more significant was the fact that the first runner up and eventual Miss America herself, was another 20-year-old black woman named Suzette Charles. They were not the first black contestants to compete in the national pageant. That historical distinction is given to Cheryl Brown who was Miss Iowa 1970.

Since the historic crowning of Williams, seven other black women and one Asian woman have won the Miss America crown. However the Miss America Organization has never crowned a woman of color in the Miss Tennessee Pageant. Elise Stein's goal is to become this very first woman - "Young girls of color need a role model in the community, and I'm most certainly someone they can look up to. I want to break the stereotype of what Miss Tennessee typically looks like — a blonde or brunette, with blue eyes" - she explained.

To be Miss Tennessee Elise thinks you must be very tenacious - "It takes daily and weekly effort. You have push yourself to be on a regimented schedule: eating healthy, going to the gym every morning at 6 a.m., volunteering in your community and working on yourself and platform. To say the least, it’s a job, but it’s worth it."

If she wins the title Elise Stein will have the opportunity to represent her state in the prestigious Miss America Contest later this year. Did you know ? The state has won the crown 2 times; in 1947 with Barbara Jo Walker and in 1987 with Kellye Cash.

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The places change, the numbers change, but the choice of weapon remains the same. In the United States, people who want to kill a lot of other people most often do it with guns. Most of the victims are chosen not for what they have done but simply for where they happen to be.

Americans own an estimated 265m guns, more than one gun for every adult. Data from the Gun Violence Archive reveals there is a mass shooting – defined as four or more people shot in one incident, not including the shooter – nine out of every 10 days on average.

The beautiful Ashli Turner, who'll be competing for the crown of Miss Black USA 2018, choose to advocate for education and non-violence in urban communities - "When I was a little girl I was disinterested in pageantry. There were no title holders who I could truly say I could relate to. No one came from a similar background, such as a title from an urban community filled with gun violence and from a young single parent home" - she explained.

Ashli grew up in the urban core of Kansas City and she is the first in her family to become a collegiate graduate (she graduated from Northeast High School and obtained her bachelors degree in Criminal Justice from Missouri Southern State University). Her advocacy for the urban community stems from striving to break the cycle most known to inner cities.

Lets know a little more about Ashli's story and her journey to the crown of Miss Black USA through this interview! Did you know ? The Miss Black USA Organization is the first and oldest scholarship pageant for women of color, awarding over $500,000 in scholarships.  The pageant empowers women to own their power and celebrates their unique talents, traits and beauty.  

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She survived. She did. Desna Johnson went through an extremely tragic thing when she was only 8. She lost her mother, brother and grandmother in a car accident that she was also involved in - "I lost three important people in my life and I almost died as well but was blessed to walk away from the car accident with two broken arms. I was broken at the age of eight. I didn't know how I was going to live a happy life without my family until I went to grief counseling and learned how to be better" - she explained.

Traumatic events can rattle us to the core, leaving us in shambles both mentally and physically. But despite all the glaring negatives, traumatic events can also transform us into stronger, better individuals. And this is what happened to Desna Johnson.

Desna now wants to help people who experience continuing difficulties following a traumatic experience, she even launched her own platform called We Grieve Together - "I want to be that beacon of hope for those that are going through a tragedy in their lives that they feel like they can't get better from. I believe that by sharing my story and by helping others I can be that hope and love people need" - she said.

By being crowned Miss Prince George's County 2018 Desna will have the opportunity to compete in the 2018 Miss Maryland Pageant later this year. The Miss Maryland competition is the pageant that selects the representative for the state of Maryland in the Miss America pageant. The state has never won the national title but they grabbed the second place in 1990 with Virginia Cha.

Lets know a little more about Desna's inspiring story and her journey to the crown through this interview!

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