So I just got back from a weekend in Vegas.

Whaaaatttt? Rest assured, this isn’t a normal occurrence for a college kid like me {I wish…heading to new and exciting places every weekend?} but this weekend was special. This weekend I had the opportunity to return to a place that’s so incredibly special to me: The Miss America Pageant.

Ah, Miss America. Like thousands of young girls growing up, I would faithfully tune in each year to watch a show that highlighted our nation’s most talented, intelligent, and beautiful young women. Starstruck, I’d daydream about my own crowning moment—the announcement that would change my life forever. But those were just daydreams…until 2010.

At the age of fourteen, my name was called. God called me into the opportunity to serve as Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, something that continues to impact my life even today.

While I’ll get all nostalgic about my year as MAOTeen some other blog post, needless to say, being able to come to Miss America and reunite with the people who made my year beyond incredible was amazing. Thanks to generosity of my friends at MAOT, they were bringing all eight former MAOTeens to Miss America for a reunion!

What a transition…I woke up in my dorm and a few hours later I was in a limousine on my way for a day of fun in Las Vegas.

Obviously I was excited. Who wouldn’t be?

After meeting the current state MAOTeen titleholders at White House Black Market, we spent the day visiting places around Vegas, including St. Rose’s Hospital, the Smith Center for Performing Arts, and Pawn Star’s Gold and Silver Pawn shop! It was great being able to meet the young ladies who are the face of MAOTeen…and it definitely brought me back to my experience in the teen program. They are all so full of life and potential, and I’m so incredibly proud of them!

Also…can I just mention how excited I was to be at the pawn shop? That’s all our family watches at home…I was so geeked.

After our day activities, we headed to dinner, where I was finally reunited with the other MAOTeen national titleholders! It was so exciting to get to see them and see how they’ve been doing great things all over the nation! I also got to spend some time with staff from MAOTeen…the heart and soul of the organization and the reason I am where I am today.

I think the most amazing thing about both Miss America and MAOT is the fact that no matter how long you’ve been gone, you’ll always be family. Catching up at dinner, I realized how truly blessed I am to know such incredible people so devoted to the empowerment of young women. They’ve shown me what love is and inspired me to love others.

The next day was also really busy! After grabbing breakfast and seeing some of our other Miss America sisters at the autograph session, we attended rehearsal, since we were going to be introduced during the Miss America pre-show. There’s something about being on that stage at Planet Hollywood that gives you the chills.

Of course, getting to hang out with Chris Harrison from ABC wasn’t bad either. ;)

After rehearsal, we grabbed a bite to eat {and I grabbed some emergency shoes, because my heels were KILLING me!} Then we got ready for the show and had a mini-photoshoot in the press room! One true assumption about pageant girls…we do love to take pictures :)

Before the show, I got a chance to say hello to the face of Miss America, my fellow Wisconsin girl, Laura Kaeppler. She’s done such an amazing job representing what this organization stands for and sharing her platform as well as being an advocate for Children’s Miracle Network. Sooooo proud of her!

Watching the show with my sister queens and sitting in front of the teen section was a blast. I don’t think I was able to hear for a few minutes after the show because everybody was screaming so loud! Being at Planet Hollywood and seeing Miss America live is so unreal. And at the end, we found ourselves with a wonderful new representative for MAO—Mallory Hagan from New York! {photo from CNN}

What a crazy weekend! It was a huge honor being able to come back and see all of my Miss America family, and be once again reminded of what an incredible organization that I was able to be a part of. And for all those who have been asking, I do see competing for Miss America in my future—just not the near future. For now, I’m more than happy with the memories and friends that I’ve made as MAOTeen 2010.

But that doesn’t mean a girl can’t dream!



2 thoughts on “Seeing Fame Crowned: Miss America 2013.

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