After five days of competing, making quick trips to Starbuck’s to make sure I stayed awake for everything, frying my hair, changing in and out of outfits every twenty minutes, hanging out with the girls, dancing, and modeling, it was finally crowning day. Honestly, for the number of girls that were out there, it was a miracle to win even a plaque.
My best friend/teammate, whom I competed at State with, was the Miss Missouri High Point Champion (which was the only title over me,) and also won a state NAM (National American Miss) division; her mom is also a pageant coach. I stayed confident, but compared to my best friend, I thought I didn’t have much of a chance.
They announced the winners for each division starting with the youngest girls; then they called for the teen division to come up. That was the scariest moment, all forty-six girls standing up there with you, all holding hands. They announced the winner for each competition and runner-ups, and I made a runner-up in almost each one.
Then they announced, “Your fourth runner-up for National Teen Miss Dream Girls USA….” and announced my best friend. I was so happy for her, but also in shock. I thought, if she won fourth runner-up then I don’t stand a chance in this; then they announced third runner-up, then second. The director said with so much excitement, “Your new National Teen Miss Dream Girls USA is…..” By that time, I had sort of given up, even though I was proud and wouldn’t trade any of that weekend for anything. Anyway, it was still the longest seconds of my life, then I heard “ALYSSA MARIE”.
I just stood there in disbelief. I walked up to the front of the stage slower than ever. There were two girls waiting for me, one with flowers and the five-foot trophy, the other with a golden crown and pink and gold sash that I had been striving for, for so long. I literally started crying. I had my hands over my mouth while my whole body shook; I looked at the judges, and every one of them had a grin on their face.
I looked back at my friend, to see her congratulating and clapping for me. Once I got off stage, all my competitors began hugging me along with their siblings and parents telling me how much I deserved it. It was the best moment ever, reaching that goal that I had set for so long.
Right after I got out of the ballroom, my sister Heather called, wanting to talk to my mom. I answered the phone (still crying,) and she asked, “What’s wrong?” When I told her I had won, she said “No way!” I told her I really did, I won, I’m the new National Teen Miss and she told me how proud she was of me. When I told my other sister, Rhonda, she started crying. It took a while to sink in, for sure. I really didn’t want to go home, though, because I knew I would miss all my sister queens – but I’ll get to see them next year.
After winning my National pageant, I got to go around fulfilling my title. I’ve been to KY3 weather station and got a tour, watched a live broadcast, met Abby Dyer and Steve Wells, and even got to try out the green screen and take a picture on set, all with my amazing crown and sash. I visited sick kids and gave them a signed pageant picture of me along with bubbles.
My next big experience was at Pioneer Days in my hometown. I invited all the queens down, even though not many were able to make it. We rode in the Pioneer Days parade, had a silent auction to raise money, and served the ham and bean dinner. All the tips we made, went to The Womens’ Shelter.
I’ve also helped fix the building in my hometown that will be an orphanage, to hopefully open it soon. Eventually, I want to be able to help out at the St. Jude’s telethon. That’s a dream of mine, because St. Jude’s is where my precious niece Madyson, with a brain tumor, is being treated.
I’ve also brought other girls from my community into this pageant program. They will be competing for the title of Miss Midwest, held in Kansas City in March. I don’t know what God has in store for them or me, but I know I’m beyond excited to help them out, and to participate in State and Nationals next year, for an opportunity to compete for Queen of Queens.
Although I will have to give up my titles, I miss the pageantry. Every time I’m not at a pageant, I’m running around helping my community, or volunteering, to honor my title.
Come to Nationals in 2015 at the Kalahari Resort at the Wisconsin Dells. I’ve noticed if you want to succeed, you have to really want it. Good luck to any pageant contestants. It took me 12 years, but I did it! I promise, it’s worth it. Don’t Just Dream It, Do It!
You can read more about Alyssa here.
This originally appeared on WeOrganizeYourThoughts-blog.com.