Right now Ashley Smith works flex as a traveling Sterile Processing Technician. "I absolutely love it because I get to choose my schedule and travel to different hospitals all over different cities, and sometimes in different states during nurse strikes. It’s a rewarding job that's very purposeful and something that I have been doing ever since I was 19 years old."
Ashley was raised by her single father at the age of 11 along with her younger sister Christen. Her mother passed when she was just 11 years old at the young age of 30 from cancer. "People always admired her beauty. She was funny and had a sense of humor which I have a bit of lol! I admire my dad for taking on a hard role of both mom and dad. He’s been an absolutely exceptional father and I am truly grateful for him."
She was able to channel the painful loss of her mother into running. "Track was a huge part of my life from middle school till my freshman year of college. I was offered sponsorships and once was invited to the Australian Indoor Track N' Field meet at 13. My races was the 400, 4x4 and the 800 and sometimes the 1600."
I had the opportunity to recently interview the reigning Elite Miss California from the Miss California Earth United States pageant, I appreciate her sharing her story. I hope you will enjoy this interview!
You won the Elite Miss California Pageant. What does it entail?
It entails taking on the role of leadership, and really getting out in the community where the focus is environmental awareness. There’s a lot of volunteerism, and joining forces with people that want to make a difference and make it a mission to impact the community and environment.
How are you gearing yourself up for the environmental programs introduced under Miss Earth pageant?
I've been really educating myself about the programs that Miss Earth is involved with and am volunteering with different programs alike, so that I am more readily equipped with hands on experience and knowledge.
Would you like to represent your state in a pageant like Miss USA or Miss America?
Sure, those are great organizations! But honestly I am so thankful to be already representing my state, in an amazing organization like Miss Earth. I absolutely love what Miss Earth represents, the diversity of this organization, the beautiful woman that are apart of great causes, and all the traveling you get to do is really what sets it apart from any other beauty pageant. It’s an organization I am proud to be a part of, and I truly feel at home.
What inspired you to walk on the course of beauty pageants?
Wow. I am taking it way back a bit, but when I was a little girl my mom always wanted to put me in pageants. She kept saying “I am going to put both my beautiful girls in pageants” I remember not being too thrilled because I had this long hair and a tender head and I knew it meant she was going to be doing my hair a lot more lol plus I was a tomboy that was not very much into girly things. My mom was really the first one who planted the pageant seed.
It never ended up happening for a while, but as I grew older I had people tell me over the years that I should get in pageants. It became a thought that just shifted in and out of my mind for years until one day, eagerly looking for something new, I decided to look into pageantry more and realized these women really do have a purpose aside from being beautiful. I knew I had a platform that I was very passionate about, and so that’s when I finally joined my very first pageant 4 years ago today.
Who is your ideal beauty queen and how has she helped you to evolve as a beauty queen?
I’ve always loved 2011 Miss Universe Leila Lopes. I remember looking at a lot of YouTube videos of different pageants, and then I fell upon Leila and was just smiling the whole time she was walking on stage. I got chills at one point, which meant I got inspired. Truly inspired by her beauty and grace. She just has this confidence, she's elegant, graceful, adorable and you can tell she's genuinely a nice person. Not to mention absolutely gorgeous! ...What has actually helped me evolve as a beauty queen has been to stay true to my overall mission and purpose regardless of crown or not, my determination, resilience, taking every loss and cultivating myself to be a better me every time.
Leila Lopes, Miss Universe 2011 by Fadil BerishaThanks to the beautiful Ashley for the interview. Pageants News wishes you all the very best for the Elite Miss Earth United States 2017 pageant.