14 Jul FCAA Member Builds Foster Awareness Through Pageant Platform
I first learned about pageants from watching Miss America. I admired the sparkly gowns, polished on-stage answers and bright stage lights. I too felt like I could be the next Miss America. However once the telecast was over, so was my daydream of being in a pageant.
I was five-years-old when I went into foster care. For the next 13 years, my existence became about survival. However, there were times where I would connect with my dreams. I once told a foster parent that I wanted to be an actress. In school, I tried to be a part of every school play and band recital.
At eighteen, I was living on my own. I enrolled in community college to study journalism and found a part-time job. At school, there was a bulletin board with a flyer to compete in the Miss Pierce County Scholarship Program (MPCSP). “Here’s my chance,” I thought. I went to the orientation and learned it was a local pageant to the Miss America Pageant. I auditioned and was selected to be a part of the 2007 & 2008 pageants.
Through MPCSP, I developed the platform “Empowering Youth in Foster Care.” I volunteered and shared my story with others in hopes of improving the foster care system. I did not win the crown but earned scholarships and developed leadership skills. With my scholarships, I attended and graduated from Washington State University. I became a news reporter and later a resource specialist for foster youth at the YMCA.
Ten years later, I am competing again as Ms. Evergreen State for the 2018 USA Ambassador Pageant. I felt compelled to use my platform to continue advocating for foster youth. I want people to know that foster alumni need community in order to heal and build productive lives.
Ms. Evergreen State 2018
FCAA Member, Washington State Chapter