Tell me something about yourself and your work. What do you actually do, and have done in the past?
I grew up spending my summers commercial fishing in Bristol Bay, Alaska with my family. While all my friends were enjoying their summer breaks, I was working long hours in fish slim! So, I definitely didn’t have a normal childhood but that experience has greatly influenced the woman I am today. And a couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to be able to buy my own set net permit to continue my passion of fishing!
Besides being a fisherwoman, I work as a paralegal for a law firm downtown Bellevue. I enjoy helping others and by working in law I’m able to do that every day and challenge myself.
“There is within each of us a potential for goodness beyond our imagining.” Elisabeth Kubler Ross
What inspired you to walk on the course of beauty pageants?
Every time I compete, I learn more about myself and grow as a person. I believe it’s important at any age to push yourself and create goals, which is why I started competing for Miss Washington USA.
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty” Maya Angelou
“I love the person I’ve become, because I fought to become her.” Kaci Diane
“The opinion which other people have of you is their problem, not yours.” Elisabeth Kubler Ross
You competed in the Miss Washington USA Pageant. How will you prepare the contest?
This will be my 6th year competing for the title, which is crazy to think about. My parents have always told me, “if you’re passionate about something, never stop.” Even though I’ve competed multiple times, I’m still just as passionate about it than the first time. I truly enjoy competing and believe in the job of Miss Washington USA, so why stop? Being afraid to fail shouldn’t keep someone from pursuing a dream or goal. I’ve failed plenty of times and yes, it’s a horrible feeling. It sucks! I allow myself to feel bad and upset for a couple of days but then I pick myself back up and learn from my failures. So, each year when I come back to compete I’m able to recognize and fix what I need to change. However, there’s more to competing in the pageant than just taking home the title. So even if I don’t win, I still take away so much from it.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts” – Winston Churchill
“If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it.”
Some people say that beauty pageants are degrading to women. How can you convince them that they’re wrong?
Well, first I wouldn’t want someone to feel like they’re wrong just because of an opinion they have. I would explain that there are so many incredible women who compete in pageants and do so much outside of competing. These women are doctors, attorneys, engineers and in my case, I’m a commercial fisherman in Alaska. Someone watching a pageant might not know these things, so prejudging women or an organization without fully understanding or knowing anything about the women is a little naïve to me. Women should feel empowered when they work hard for something and are able to showcase it. I don’t believe pageants degrade women, they allow women to voice their opinions, work hard and push themselves to reach a goal. Women and young girls who compete in pageants are given opportunities and learn life skills, along with learning who they are as a person. Pageants represent strong, confident and passionate women which isn’t degrading to me; it’s powerful.
“You can tell who the strong women are. They are the ones you see building up one another instead of tearing each other down”
What do you expect to gain by competing in beauty contests?
I’ve gained so much by competing in pageants and I’m still learning new things every time I compete. The biggest thing I’ve gained is confidence in myself, which I believe is an irreplaceable attribute for someone to acquire. I’ve made great friends, been able to network and get opportunities I wouldn’t normally have, and am a part of a “pageant family”. From public speaking, interview skills and self-growth, I’ve gained all of these from pageantry.
“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose.” Elisabeth Kubler Ross
Who is your ideal beauty queen and how has she helped you to evolve as a beauty queen?
I look up to so many but if I had to choose, I would say Olivia Culpo. I remember following her leading up to Miss USA and thinking that she was going to be the winner, if not in the top 5. She just had that “it” factor. She speaks with such elegance and confidence and is gorgeous! I got to meet her and I remember feeling completely star struck but comfortable because she was so sweet. I also look up to her for what she has done after the pageant. She’s made a name for herself in the fashion and modeling industry and has become a great business woman, which I admire.
What would you advise any young girl out there who has a dream of being a queen one day?
I would advise them to go for it! It’s very scary to put yourself out there, but you’ll never know what could happen until you try. I would also advise them to find a pageant system that works best for them and to not try and mold themselves into what they THINK a beauty queen should be. Know who you are and what you want to represent and find a support system who only want the best for you. There are so many opinions in pageantry, so stay grounded and don’t doubt yourself.
“Be the girl who decided to go for it.”
“All our dream can come true if we have the courage to pursue them” Walt Disney
“Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts.” Albert Einstein
Thanks to the beautiful Evelyn for the interview. Pageants News wishes you all the very best for Miss Washington USA pageant.