Thursday, February 25, 2010

Guest Reader-Thurgood Marshall Elementary

Thurgood Marshall Elementary invited several dignitaries throughout Delaware to be Guest Readers for different classrooms. I was honored when they invited me to share one of my favorite books with a few 3rd grade classes. To start the day, after the announcements, everyone was invited to get up and dance to the song of the day. The students had to help teach me the right moves, but after a few times I got it down pat!

I shared the book The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, because it goes right along with my platform CharacterCounts! We were able to talk about the 6 Pillars of Good Character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship. After we looked at how the giving tree showed these different pillars, we talked about being a good role model. Some of the students were a little shy when I asked who thought they were a role model. It always amazes me that so many students never stop to think they influence the lives of others. By the end of our conversation, it was wonderful to see so many faces light up to the thought that they have the power to positively influence their friends, families, and even teachers.

I told them that if they were good listeners I would give each of them a signed photo card of me at the end. It is such a great feeling to see the excitement throughout the classroom at the thought of having my autograph. It always makes me feel like a celebrity. One student actually asked me during our Q&A time, if I was a celebrity. Their teacher quickly chimed in and said that they learned the definition of a celebrity in class. She then asked the class if they thought I was a celebrity. A loud YEEESSSSSSSS roared from their mouths. It was so cute!
One by one they went back to their classrooms and I handed out my photo cards. I even got a few hugs as they walked by. I can tell that Thurgood Marshall Elementary is full of students with good character!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

William Henry Middle-Science Fair

My first appearance after I got back from Miss America was the William Henry Middle School Science Fair. It was the best appearance to come back to do! The students were so excited for me to be there. The Mayor of Dover, Mayor Carey, was there to judge along with me.
These students were so smart, creative, innovative, I mean the list could go on and on. I thought judging pageants was hard! Every student brought something unique to the fair.
As I was judging, kids would come up to me and ask me to sign a piece of paper or a book they were reading. I told them after I was done judging I would sign an autograph for them. Wouldn't you know, when I was done I sat in a chair to sign a couple of autographs and I had a line form with almost every student waiting for my autograph or picture!
There were so many applicants that the teachers had to split the students into two separate groups. But lucky for them, that meant two winners! They not only received a certificate, but a WalMart gift card as well! Who doesn't love a gift card to WalMart?!?

Appearances like this one, really show how much I can do here in Delaware. It was the start of an awesome second half of my year.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Miss America 2010

Thank you very much to everyone that supported me throughout my journey at Miss America. All of the warm wishes, letters, gifts, and videos were much appreciated. Those 10 days are days I will remember for the rest of my life. I truly believe that I have significantly grown after my trip to Las Vegas. There is something incredibly rewarding about the Miss America experience and being able to compete on that stage!

Lance Burton making tons of little squishy bunnies come out of my hands from only having 2 bunnies in there to start!
The first four days were all rehearsals and appearances. We went on a gondola ride at the Venetian, made pancakes with people from IHOP, did go-kart racing and met Lance Burton at Pole Position Raceway, and saw the Phantom of the Opera. We had interviews with TLC and a mini photo shoot for DSW's campaign to support the troops. All of us put on combat boots and held up American flags for the pictures. Unfortunately, we didn't get to keep the boots.

making some IHOP pancakes
After that, the actual competition began. Interview, Swimsuit, Evening Wear, Talent, and On Stage Question all happened in 3-4 days. It was early mornings and late nights, but it was all well worth it. I caught up on all of my sleep when I got home and slept for nearly 3 days!

DSW support the troops campaign
The best thing about competition starting was that it meant we got to see our families afterward! It was so wonderful to see everyone: family, friends, board members and local directors, contestants, and my wonderful little sis MDOT 2009 Danielle Marshall and her mom. They laughed with me, cried with me, and cheered me on the whole week like I was already Miss America.

at the Evening of Dreams
That Friday we had a banquet called "Evening of Dreams" where a large percentage of former Miss Americas attended and performed, a fabulous dinner was served, and Miss America 2009 Katie Stam got engaged! It was the most romantic proposal I have ever seen! Of course, I cried...I couldn't help it. I'm pretty sure half the room was in tears by the time it was all said and done.

Miss Minnesota, Brooke, and I on our gondola ride
Saturday was the final competition. I have never had so many emotions run through my body in one day. One moment I was excited, the next nervous, the next anxious, and then excited, and then scared, and then worried, and then tired...on and on and on. I went on stage that night, knowing that I had done everything I possibly could have done. I loved my wardrobe, was confident in my talent and interview, and felt beautiful in my swimsuit and evening gown. I honestly wouldn't have changed a thing that whole week. Even though I did not make the top 15, I cherish the fact that I am not wishing I could do it all over. I am completely satisfied with my performance, and I can hold my head high knowing that I have gone down in history as Miss Delaware 2009.

Anne Michael and I heading off to Interview
My roommate was Miss Iowa, Anne Michael Langguth. She was the sweetest roommate ever. We got along so well. She played me "Happy Birthday" on the violin at midnight on my birthday while we were out there. She is a great example of what this organization is all about: service, scholarship, success, and style.

My evening gown
Now it is back to reality. I am still Miss Delaware until June, so I am still making appearances throughout my wonderful state of Delaware. I am currently taking an online course through UD in hopes of finishing my degree by Spring of 2011. I am looking forward to these upcoming months being filled with moments that will continue transform my life and serving Delaware to the best of my abilities.

Thanks again everyone!

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