Tuesday, July 30, 2013

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE NEW MISS TEEN OF MINNESOTA!

This weekend I passed my title on to the ever deserving Ashley Becker of Maple Lake, Minnesota. 

CONGRATULATIONS Ashley, and welcome to the family!

Love, 
Megan Smith
(former Miss Teen of Minnesota)


Miss Teen of Minnesota 2013 pageant

Unfortunately, I don't think all of the text was processed on the last post I sent in; so here it is again with more at the end this time! :

This past weekend I gave away my Miss Teen of Minnesota title at St. Cloud University.

I had so much fun meeting all of the wonderfully incredible ladies!

I think I said this a million times already - but I seriously admire and look up to each of the young women who competed SO much. Learning about them and their lives was so fun and it was my distinct pleasure to be able to spend time with them. Although I may have given away a title last weekend, I gained infinitely more.

Some of my Social Media posts from the weekend:

 - My post Friday night after check in, general awareness test, and acquaintance party:

I'm already so impressed with each Miss Teen of Minnesota candidates! 
You each are wonderful and remarkable young ladies. 

Just like my mini-speech tonight at our ice cream social after our puzzle activity: 
You each are indispensable and offer the world something that no one else can. We each play a different role (represented by your puzzle piece), and are part of something so much bigger (completing the puzzle together) You don't have to be the whole puzzle. You just be who you are to your very best ability, because the world needs more people who have come alive and offer the world their talents - instead of letting the world shape them. 

Find your passion and chase them. Make your dreams reality. Don't just think or even plan, but DO.
MOST importantly - be yourself. Be true to yourself and do what makes you come alive. You will never regret anything as long as you are genuine and do things because they bring you true life. 

You ladies inspire me. Can't wait to spend more time with you all tomorrow! 

 - My post Saturday: 
Day 2! The ladies have done absolutely fabulously at learning and performing my terribly cheesy "Dancin' in the Aisles" production number! 

You guys are rock stars. But seriously. 

In about an hour you start your interview and then move onto personality and poise projection. 

You've been talking since you we're a baby, and you've known yourself your whole life - so that interview will be a breeze. Speak clearly and surely. 
You've also been walking for a minimum of 12 years, so you're practically a pro! I mean, you should get paid for it! 

Hold your head high, shoulders back, walk confidently. You are in the spotlight and you are not on stage to take up space, you are on stage to FILL THE ROOM. 
Go and show us what you do best - being YOURSELF.
Deep breaths, do your best and forget the rest!
_________

Friday we had an ice cream social - Shout out to Schwans for donating ice cream, DQ for donating Starkisses, Save-A-Lot-Foods for donating ice cream toppings, and last but not least Wal-mart for donating bottled waters!
Anyway, the party was super fun and we signed Tshirts, ate ice cream and I had the girls ask each other get to know you questions that were on their cups, and I led them through a puzzle piece exercise (mentioned in the social media post).

Saturday the ladies ROCKED at learning the production number, and did SO AMAZING during their interviews (which I LOVED being able to sit in on and listen to each of them), and all were absolutely DAZZLING for their formal wear Poise and Personality Projection.

And then came the problem solving skits Saturday night... you girls are also HILARIOUS. So funny, it was also amazingly fun to see you guys come out of your shells and show off your sense of humor - honestly - it was a great night with some of the best entertainment I've had in a long time! You ladies are incredible in every facet imaginable. ACTUALLY THOUGH. 

Sunday was the finals!
Holding true to my procrastination, I was finishing the slideshow that was to play during the seating time before the finals began which re-caped my time and service as Miss Teen of Minnesota.
And I also might've practically written my final speech that morning as well before we began our final rehearsals of the production number and the self-presentation for the finals.
....And I also might've had to practically beg a guy at a service desk to print it off for me... and Sunny might've just been slightly irritated (HUGE understatement) that I didn't have it ready yet, but all is well that ends well - I got it printed and I also got many compliments on my speech, which I was not expecting and was super encouraging!

In my blog post below is my "Farewell Speech" and final address as a title holder.

Miss Teen of Minnesota Farewell Speech

Preparing this speech, I was thinking back to the day I won theMiss Teen of Minnesota title, and my final question to answer on stage was"What Advice would I give girls my age?"


At that time, my answer was about being yourself, only littledid I know how much I would learn in the next 2 years what that truly means. Sometimesbeing yourself can be painful, and it can cost you. But that price is somethingyou will never ever regret.


Inlife, what do we have to lose? What are we afraid of? We often unfortunatelylet our fears dictate us, and our actions, when most of them are ridiculous inthe first place. We have IMMEASURABLY more to gain than we will ever have tolose.


Life has not been everything I thought it would be, and I cansay that most things (if I were to be completely transparent, I might even saythat ALL things) have not gone exactly as I have planed or imagined.


There are many things I've set out to do, that I have ended upnot accomplishing. I seem to be in a constant struggle to live up to the personI think I should be.


Although, I can confidently say that life has also been manywonderful things I never would have planned or imagined. And I have learnedthat it's not about living up to any standard, and not about who I should be,but who I am and who I was created to be.


I have been blessed beyond measure by a God whose grace issufficient for me and who reveals his strength through my many weaknesses. By aGod who closes doors that no man can open, and opens doors that no man canclose. His word departs from his mouth and does not return empty, and he isable to do IMMEASURABLY more than we could ever hope or imagine. Think of your owncraziest dream or hope – God is a God who says: "that's only the beginning ofwhat I have for you and what you can do if you follow me". Your craziest dreamsare but a drop in the stream of life we're called to submerge ourselves in.


Sometimes I think about my life and I realize how blessed I am.Not by the things I have or the titles I've gained, but by the experiences I'vehad and the relationships I've made. All my accomplishments, awards, plaques,achievements and recognitions – most are in a drawer at my house – maybe a fewmade it on the wall. And the funny thing is, right now I could care less aboutthose titles. To our society, those titles are who we are. But more and moreI'm learning that titles are only that – just titles. It's not about whatyou've done, but who you are. It's not about how you look, but how you see.It's not about the way others view you, but the ways you treat others you meet.My experiences traveling internationally and serving in 3rd worldcountries have forever changed my perspective, and I will never be the samebecause of it.


Forso long I was focused on being "something" rather than just being me… and Ifeel weird, because "ahhh, I don't know who "me" is". But the thing is… I don'tI have to; and neither do you. It's not about knowing, but about becoming - doing,experiencing, and taking advantage of the opportunities that spring up eachday.


I am learning to joyfully allow the mystery of life's"divine, magical, terrifying and ecstatic" existence, instead oftrying to plan everything out.


Sometimeswe just have to take that leap of faith… and the truth is, not every pastsituation, whether successful or not, can be used as precedence for our next"leap". Sometimes, we'll fall on our face. Sometimes we will achieve greatness.Sometimes we will get more than we ever even dreamed or imagined. Sometimes, wewill remain empty handed except for the lessons learned. But, we just neverknow when that success is going to come… So we must press onward.


Bottomline: whatever our leap of faith is towards, it's either worth it, or it's not.No matter how you spin it, that is what it will always, inevitably, come downto. And that is the part we will never know for certain, if "it" is, indeed,worth the possible consequences. That is why we must be courageous and takerisks.


That'swhy it is so important to know who you are and be okay with who you're becoming– if your identity is rooted, then you have the freedom to take risks because nomatter the consequences – whether greatness or failure - you won't be shaken.


Afterall, the greatest experiences come to those who are not afraid to get theirfeet wet. Only we must go deeper. There will undeniably be those standing ankledeep, with jeans water marked to the thigh, because they went deeper and thenfear drove them back to shallow water. Only in the shallow water, althoughslightly refreshing, there is no life. The sand still shifts under your feet,there are no fish and the water scarcely moves unless it is in the tide, andthe tide only comes once in a while… do we not hope for greater? Do we notmadly hope that God has more to offer us?


Let'sjust theoretically say you continue going deeper… soon the waves are carryingyou, your feet lose contact with the shifting sand. You fight to stay abovewater, but at last, the waves are too strong and the overcome you. We know thatif we go deep enough, we will, eventually, drown. And that is what scares us.We are afraid because we know that if we go deeper, we will lose control ofourselves. But only in vulnerability is freedom; and the only victory lies insurrender.


Evenwhen storms or obstacles come, you are still surrounded by the Almighty whodesigned and controls your destiny. After all, he created you and already hasplans for each one of you. He has a purpose and allows all things to happen fora reason. Never is there a tear without cause; never is there a task you can'tovercome using his strength, for he is strong when we are weak.


Wecan choose to stay ankle deep, where life is "safe" but far from the best thereis, or we can chose to continue on forward. In choosing to continue, we aresacrificing our "selves". We are surrendering all our own desires and wishesand giving ourselves as a vessel to be used by God. And the thing is, it isscary. It will never be easy to give up all control, to completely surrenderall of your life, plans and ambitions. But isn't it the risk so much more worthit than the stale, ankle deep water? Is not the fresh, cool, powerful, deep watermore enticing?


Indeedit is, although we still have to make that choice. The choice to rid yourselfof your actual "self", the choice to sacrifice all you have ever worked for orstrived to achieve. Yet, if one can make that surrender their life only becomesincreasingly glorified. For once we kiss ourselves goodbye, we are able tofully embrace God's perfect and holy will for us. And that is when we starttruly living and become more able to fully embrace the abundance of joy Godprovides.


Andstill we say "how?" Well, step one: "get your feet wet". And after that we needto try going deeper, sometimes we may retreat to ankle deep water again, butthe thing is we must never stop trying to be overcome, we must always againresolve to go deeper than the time before. We must continue pursuing so webecome ruined for the ordinary – once we've felt "better" we can't simply goback to "normal".

Ladies, you all already have your feet wet. I admire each andevery one of you more than you could ever imagine. Being able to listen in onyour interviews was my distinct pleasure, as I got more of a personal peak intoeach one of you and your dreams, goals, and passions. These girls herecontinually blow me away and I've had so much fun with them even in the shortmoments we've shared. I willnever forget the ways your eyes shone when you talked about what you love.


 I want to thank each of you. All Iwant to do is have an impact in this world, and girls, you showed me that I can.Even in a single weekend, you showed me that I can affect the lives of others,and that I can leave impressions. And I thank you for that. I am truly sograteful, because you will never know how much that means to me. I may beleaving my title behind this weekend, but I am gaining so much more.

Titlescome and go, but my memories of and my love for all of you will never fade.

Unfortunately,only one of you will leave with a title today. But that does not denote any ofthe achievements, dreams, or aspirations any of you have. You are allwonderful, empowered women who are on your way to great things – Oh the placesyou'll go!

 

Today, I leaveyou with this:

 

"Don't ask whatthe word needs, ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what theworld needs is people who have come alive" ~ Howard Thurman

 

And I, for one,am excited for you ladies to find what you have to offer the world that no oneelse does. I'm excited to see you ladies LIVE.

Miss Teen of Minnesota, Megan Smith's, FAREWELL SPEECH

Miss Teen of Minnesota FAREWELL SPEECH

 

Preparing this speech, I was thinking back to the day I won the Miss Teen of Minnesota title, and my final question to answer on stage was "What Advice would I give girls my age?"

At that time, my answer was about being yourself, only little did I know how much I would learn in the next 2 years what that truly means. Sometimes being yourself can be painful, and it can cost you. But that price is something you will never ever regret.

In life, what do we have to lose? What are we afraid of? We often unfortunately let our fears dictate us, and our actions, when most of them are ridiculous in the first place. We have IMMEASURABLY more to gain than we will ever have to lose.

Life has not been everything I thought it would be, and I can say that most things (if I were to be completely transparent, I might even say that ALL things) have not gone exactly as I have planed or imagined.

There are many things I've set out to do, that I have ended up not accomplishing. I seem to be in a constant struggle to live up to the person I think I should be.

Although, I can confidently say that life has also been many wonderful things I never would have planned or imagined. And I have learned that it's not about living up to any standard, and not about who I should be, but who I am and who I was created to be.

I have been blessed beyond measure by a God whose grace is sufficient for me and who reveals his strength through my many weaknesses. By a God who closes doors that no man can open, and opens doors that no man can close. His word departs from his mouth and does not return empty, and he is able to do IMMEASURABLY more than we could ever hope or imagine. Think of your own craziest dream or hope – God is a God who says: "that's only the beginning of what I have for you and what you can do if you follow me". Your craziest dreams are but a drop in the stream of life we're called to submerge ourselves in.

Sometimes I think about my life and I realize how blessed I am. Not by the things I have or the titles I've gained, but by the experiences I've had and the relationships I've made. All my accomplishments, awards, plaques, achievements and recognitions – most are in a drawer at my house – maybe a few made it on the wall. And the funny thing is, right now I could care less about those titles. To our society, those titles are who we are. But more and more I'm learning that titles are only that – just titles. It's not about what you've done, but who you are. It's not about how you look, but how you see. It's not about the way others view you, but the ways you treat others you meet. My experiences traveling internationally and serving in 3rd world countries have forever changed my perspective, and I will never be the same because of it.

For so long I was focused on being "something" rather than just being me… and I feel weird, because "ahhh, I don't know who "me" is". But the thing is… I don't I have to; and neither do you. It's not about knowing, but about becoming - doing, experiencing, and taking advantage of the opportunities that spring up each day.

I am learning to joyfully allow the mystery of life's "divine, magical, terrifying and ecstatic" existence, instead of trying to plan everything out.

Sometimes we just have to take that leap of faith… and the truth is, not every past situation, whether successful or not, can be used as precedence for our next "leap". Sometimes, we'll fall on our face. Sometimes we will achieve greatness. Sometimes we will get more than we ever even dreamed or imagined. Sometimes, we will remain empty handed except for the lessons learned. But, we just never know when that success is going to come… So we must press onward.

Bottom line: whatever our leap of faith is towards, it's either worth it, or it's not. No matter how you spin it, that is what it will always, inevitably, come down to. And that is the part we will never know for certain, if "it" is, indeed, worth the possible consequences. That is why we must be courageous and take risks.

That's why it is so important to know who you are and be okay with who you're becoming – if your identity is rooted, then you have the freedom to take risks because no matter the consequences – whether greatness or failure - you won't be shaken.

After all, the greatest experiences come to those who are not afraid to get their feet wet. Only we must go deeper. There will undeniably be those standing ankle deep, with jeans water marked to the thigh, because they went deeper and then fear drove them back to shallow water. Only in the shallow water, although slightly refreshing, there is no life. The sand still shifts under your feet, there are no fish and the water scarcely moves unless it is in the tide, and the tide only comes once in a while… do we not hope for greater? Do we not madly hope that God has more to offer us?

Let's just theoretically say you continue going deeper… soon the waves are carrying you, your feet lose contact with the shifting sand. You fight to stay above water, but at last, the waves are too strong and the overcome you. We know that if we go deep enough, we will, eventually, drown. And that is what scares us. We are afraid because we know that if we go deeper, we will lose control of ourselves. But only in vulnerability is freedom; and the only victory lies in surrender.

Even when storms or obstacles come, you are still surrounded by the Almighty who designed and controls your destiny. After all, he created you and already has plans for each one of you. He has a purpose and allows all things to happen for a reason. Never is there a tear without cause; never is there a task you can't overcome using his strength, for he is strong when we are weak.

We can choose to stay ankle deep, where life is "safe" but far from the best there is, or we can chose to continue on forward. In choosing to continue, we are sacrificing our "selves". We are surrendering all our own desires and wishes and giving ourselves as a vessel to be used by God. And the thing is, it is scary. It will never be easy to give up all control, to completely surrender all of your life, plans and ambitions. But isn't it the risk so much more worth it than the stale, ankle deep water? Is not the fresh, cool, powerful water more enticing?

Indeed it is, although we still have to make that choice. The choice to rid yourself of your actual "self", the choice to sacrifice all you have ever worked for or strived to achieve. Yet, if one can make that surrender their life only becomes increasingly glorified. For once we kiss ourselves goodbye, we are able to fully embrace God's perfect and holy will for us. And that is when we start truly living and become more able to fully embrace the abundance of joy God provides.

And still we say "how?" Well, step one: "get your feet wet". And after that we need to try going deeper, sometimes we may retreat to ankle deep water again, but the thing is we must never stop trying to be overcome, we must always again resolve to go deeper than the time before. We must continue pursuing so we become ruined for the ordinary – once we've felt "better" we can't simply go back to "normal".

Ladies, you all already have your feet wet. I admire each and every one of you more than you could ever imagine. Being able to listen in on your interviews was my distinct pleasure, as I got more of a personal peak into each one of you and your dreams, goals, and passions. These girls here continually blow me away and I've had so much fun with them even in the short moments we've shared. I will never forget the ways your eyes shone when you talked about what you love.

            I want to thank each of you. All I want to do is have an impact in this world, and girls, you showed me that I can. Even in a single weekend, you showed me that I can affect the lives of others, and that I can leave impressions. And I thank you for that. I am truly so grateful, because you will never know how much that means to me. I may be leaving my title behind this weekend, but I am gaining so much more.

Titles come and go, but my memories of and my love for all of you will never fade.

Unfortunately, only one of you will leave with a title today. But that does not denote any of the achievements, dreams, or aspirations any of you have. You are all wonderful, empowered women who are on your way to great things – Oh the places you'll go!

 

Today, I leave you with this:

 

"Don't ask what the word needs, ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive" ~ Howard Thurman

 

And I, for one, am excited for you ladies to find what you have to offer the world that no one else does. I'm excited to see you ladies LIVE. 




And this is it, this is my last MTMN blog.

It's been real, Minnesota. Keep it fresh.


Much love and many blessings!

Megan Smith

former Miss Teen of Minnesota 

<3 



Miss Teen of Minnesota 2013

Unfortunately, I don't think all of the text was processed on the last post I sent in; so here it is again with more at the end this time! :

This past weekend I gave away my Miss Teen of Minnesota title at St. Cloud University.

I had so much fun meeting all of the wonderfully incredible ladies!

I think I said this a million times already - but I seriously admire and look up to each of the young women who competed SO much. Learning about them and their lives was so fun and it was my distinct pleasure to be able to spend time with them. Although I may have given away a title last weekend, I gained infinitely more.

Some of my Social Media posts from the weekend:

 - My post Friday night after check in, general awareness test, and acquaintance party:

I'm already so impressed with each Miss Teen of Minnesota candidates! 
You each are wonderful and remarkable young ladies. 

Just like my mini-speech tonight at our ice cream social after our puzzle activity: 
You each are indispensable and offer the world something that no one else can. We each play a different role (represented by your puzzle piece), and are part of something so much bigger (completing the puzzle together) You don't have to be the whole puzzle. You just be who you are to your very best ability, because the world needs more people who have come alive and offer the world their talents - instead of letting the world shape them. 

Find your passion and chase them. Make your dreams reality. Don't just think or even plan, but DO.
MOST importantly - be yourself. Be true to yourself and do what makes you come alive. You will never regret anything as long as you are genuine and do things because they bring you true life. 

You ladies inspire me. Can't wait to spend more time with you all tomorrow! 

 - My post Saturday: 
Day 2! The ladies have done absolutely fabulously at learning and performing my terribly cheesy "Dancin' in the Aisles" production number! 

You guys are rock stars. But seriously. 

In about an hour you start your interview and then move onto personality and poise projection. 

You've been talking since you we're a baby, and you've known yourself your whole life - so that interview will be a breeze. Speak clearly and surely. 
You've also been walking for a minimum of 12 years, so you're practically a pro! I mean, you should get paid for it! 

Hold your head high, shoulders back, walk confidently. You are in the spotlight and you are not on stage to take up space, you are on stage to FILL THE ROOM. 
Go and show us what you do best - being YOURSELF.
Deep breaths, do your best and forget the rest!
_________

Friday we had an ice cream social - Shout out to Schwans for donating ice cream, DQ for donating Starkisses, Save-A-Lot-Foods for donating ice cream toppings, and last but not least Wal-mart for donating bottled waters!
Anyway, the party was super fun and we signed Tshirts, ate ice cream and I had the girls ask each other get to know you questions that were on their cups, and I led them through a puzzle piece exercise (mentioned in the social media post).

Saturday the ladies ROCKED at learning the production number, and did SO AMAZING during their interviews (which I LOVED being able to sit in on and listen to each of them), and all were absolutely DAZZLING for their formal wear Poise and Personality Projection.

And then came the problem solving skits Saturday night... you girls are also HILARIOUS. So funny, it was also amazingly fun to see you guys come out of your shells and show off your sense of humor - honestly - it was a great night with some of the best entertainment I've had in a long time! You ladies are incredible in every facet imaginable. ACTUALLY THOUGH. 

Sunday was the finals!
Holding true to my procrastination, I was finishing the slideshow that was to play during the seating time before the finals began which re-caped my time and service as Miss Teen of Minnesota.
And I also might've practically written my final speech that morning as well before we began our final rehearsals of the production number and the self-presentation for the finals.
....And I also might've had to practically beg a guy at a service desk to print it off for me... and Sunny might've just been slightly irritated (HUGE understatement) that I didn't have it ready yet, but all is well that ends well - I got it printed and I also got many compliments on my speech, which I was not expecting and was super encouraging!

In my next blog post, I'll post my "Farewell Speech" and final address as a title holder.

Miss Teen of Minnesota 2013

This past weekend I gave away my Miss Teen of Minnesota title at St. Cloud University.

I had so much fun meeting all of the wonderfully incredible ladies!

I think I said this a million times already - but I seriously admire and look up to each of the young women who competed SO much. Learning about them and their lives was so fun and it was my distinct pleasure to be able to spend time with them. Although I may have given away a title last weekend, I gained infinitely more.

Some of my Social Media posts from the weekend:

 - My post Friday night after check in, general awareness test, and acquaintance party:

I'm already so impressed with each Miss Teen of Minnesota candidates! 
You each are wonderful and remarkable young ladies. 

Just like my mini-speech tonight at our ice cream social after our puzzle activity: 
You each are indispensable and offer the world something that no one else can. We each play a different role (represented by your puzzle piece), and are part of something so much bigger (completing the puzzle together) You don't have to be the whole puzzle. You just be who you are to your very best ability, because the world needs more people who have come alive and offer the world their talents - instead of letting the world shape them. 

Find your passion and chase them. Make your dreams reality. Don't just think or even plan, but DO.
MOST importantly - be yourself. Be true to yourself and do what makes you come alive. You will never regret anything as long as you are genuine and do things because they bring you true life. 

You ladies inspire me. Can't wait to spend more time with you all tomorrow! 

 - My post Saturday: 
Day 2! The ladies have done absolutely fabulously at learning and performing my terribly cheesy "Dancin' in the Aisles" production number! 

You guys are rock stars. But seriously. 

In about an hour you start your interview and then move onto personality and poise projection. 

You've been talking since you we're a baby, and you've known yourself your whole life - so that interview will be a breeze. Speak clearly and surely. 
You've also been walking for a minimum of 12 years, so you're practically a pro! I mean, you should get paid for it! 

Hold your head high, shoulders back, walk confidently. You are in the spotlight and you are not on stage to take up space, you are on stage to FILL THE ROOM. 
Go and show us what you do best - being YOURSELF.
Deep breaths, do your best and forget the rest!
_________

Friday we had an ice cream social - Shout out to Schwans for donating ice cream, DQ for donating Starkisses, Save-A-Lot-Foods for donating ice cream toppings, and last but not least Wal-mart for donating bottled waters!
Anyway, the party was super fun and we signed Tshirts, ate ice cream and I had the girls ask each other get to know you questions that were on their cups, and I led them through a puzzle piece exercise (mentioned in the social media post).

Saturday the ladies ROCKED at learning the production number, and did SO AMAZING during their interviews (which I LOVED being able to sit in on and listen to each of them), and all were absolutely DAZZLING for their formal wear Poise and Personality Projection.

And then came the problem solving skits Saturday night... you girls are also HILARIOUS. So funny, it was also amazingly fun to see you guys come out of your shells and show off your sense of humor - honestly - it was a great night with some of the best entertainment I've had in a long time! You ladies are incredible in every facet imaginable. ACTUALLY THOUGH. 

Sunday was the finals!
Holding true to my procrastination, I was finishing the slideshow that was to play during the seating time before the finals began which re-caped my time and service as Miss Teen of Minnesota.
And I also might've practically written my final speech that morning as well before we began our final rehearsals of the production number and the self-presentation for the finals.
....And I also might've had to practically beg a guy at a service desk to print it off for me... and Sunny might've just been slightly irritated (HUGE understatement) that I didn't have it ready yet, but all is well that ends well - I got it printed and I also got many compliments on my speech, which I was not expecting and was super encouraging!

In my next blog post, I'll post my "Farewell Speech" and final address as a title holder.

Past Year in Review!

This past year went by like a whirlwind!

But here is a quick flash of what I was up to with my title this past year!

- I graduated St. Louis Park High School as a valedictorian. Yay - one chapter done!

- Participated on a summer mission trip with my youth group working to staff a VBS (Kidlympics blog with more information)

- Went off to college! I am attending Boston University (BU) and am a member of the Kilachand Honors College.

- Participated in FYSOP with BU - First Year Student Outreach Project - and I volunteered a week before classes started in areas helping those with disabilities.

- Participated in Invisible Children's MOVE:DC Global summit and political rally. One of the most incredible experiences EVER. Plus I got to Hear Gary Haugen speak, who is president of the International Justice Mission and one of my role models. So that was incredibly amazing. 

- Competed for the Miss Teen of America Title over Thanksgiving weekend in Texas, and also helped staff the Little and Young Miss of Texas programs in Texas. I was awarded the title of First-Runner up to Miss Teen of America.

- Went on a service trip with the Navigators Christian Fellowship over spring break to NYC to help with hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts. We did mold remediation and helped get people's homes livable again. 

- Participated in a barefoot soccer event at BU this spring as a fundraiser for grassroots efforts in Africa.

- Volunteered with the Special Olympics at a swimming event at BU's Fitness and Recreation Center.

- Supported my sister and her special Metro Miracle League baseball team this spring.

- Went on a trip to Jamaica with my mom where we ended up coming into contact with a girl with disabilities who we are now seeking to help.

- Volunteered at a Jack Brewer Foundation Event that uses sport as a catalyst to fight global poverty and hunger.



It's been busy, fun, rewarding and even trying at times, but I have learned SO much, gained more than I ever imagined, and made relationships I otherwise never would have.