Thursday, August 15, 2013

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Miss Delaware 2013 is.........Rebecca Jackson

It has been a month since I was crowned Miss Delaware and from the moment that crown touched my head, my life has changed.   I never thought my life could possibly be more jam packed but being Miss Delaware is an incredibly demanding and rewarding experience.  Being invited into the Miss Delaware sisterhood is such an honor and I will not take this gift lightly.  I am so excited for everything that this year has in store. It is almost unbelievable that I will be leaving for Miss America in a month.

Becoming Miss Delaware was such an unexpected dream come into fruition and there are many people that helped me to become the person I am today that I really want to thank.

My family, how little you knew when I said I wanted to compete in my first pageant, that a year and a half later I would be Miss Delaware.  Thank you for your undying support, understanding, and patience with me during this roller coaster ride. 

To Laura, Brooke, Sarah, I am so blessed to have you in my life.  I never thought that I would ever become part of another loving family.  You all took a nervous, oblivious, optimistic girl and guided her into a woman who could be Miss Delaware.  You believed that I had the ability to win when I didn't even see it in myself.  I am so blessed to have worked with you for two years in a row and so happy to call you my family.

To "The Team": In life it a rare type of person who will go out of their way to help another without any expectation of reward for their participation.   A giant thank you to Erin Cooper, Brittany and Mrs. Dempsey, the Martells, the Holmes, Heather Lehman, and everyone who coached and took part in my mock interviews.  The confidence I have received from those mocks have changed my life and I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart. 

To the Miss Delaware Board.  Thank you for your part in the organization that has changed my life.  You all have created a family for every girl that has competed and it is so wonderful to have such a loving state. 

To the other 22 contestants that competed, thank you.  The friends I made this year during pageant week will forever be lifelong sisters to me.  Each and every one of you is beautiful, intelligent, and hardworking, and talented.  I could not have asked for better people to share the stage with.  For those of you that have aged out, you will forever by my role models and I know that you have such wonderful things ahead.  For those still of age, keep competing.  This is a once of a lifetime chance and you all have the ability to make a dream reality.

Then I have my random group of helpers.  Nicole, thank you for helping me look the part of Miss Delaware helping me find my own style.  Renee, for helping me discover my MAC makeup face.  Chris Saltalamacchio, for taking my atrocious walk and turning it into a way to express my new found  confidence.  To Josh, for helping me find the most beautiful evening gown.  To Cielo Spa, Tantini, and all of my sponsors thank you for believing in me and encouraging me to be my personal best. 

To all of my friends from UD, Unionville, and across the country.  Thank you for always keeping me down to earth, always making me feel loved, and making me see the beauty in everyday life. 

Now that the thank yous are finished I must warn the readers that I have never blogged before in my entire life.  I have no idea how these work and I'm just going to try and make a compelling story for you!!

I have had so many adventures since being crowned Miss Delaware.

The beginning of my journey involved copious amounts of paperwork.  Because Miss America is so close this year, everything had to be finished ASAP.  I had to revamp my platform and resume, get brand new head shots, film my America's Choice video, and write my Quality of Life essays all in under two weeks.  With the help of George and Debi, I was able to turn everything in on time, which is a major accomplishment because anyone who has worked with me before knows I am terrible with paperwork (I'm looking at you Laura Moylan and Mamma K). I also took part in the contestant drawing which may be one of the most stressful experiences I have ever had!  You sit in front of the computer and wait for your state to pop up and then you only have 5 minutes to call MAO headquarters to request your spot.  I was luckily chosen early and got the exact place I wanted!!! Phew!

Being Miss Delaware involves a lot of shopping and Debi, George and I have made many a stop to find the perfect wardrobe.  I have found a love for the Cache at the Christiana Mall where Stephanie and Amanda have helped me find the perfect dresses and accessories for appearances.  I also had the pleasure of taking a road trip up to The Perfect Dress where I was astounded by the kindness and hospitality I was treated by the staff.  A giant thank you to Josh, Stephen, and Belinda for making me feel beautiful in every outfit I tried on.  It was so hard to pick out my Miss America wardrobe when everything was so beautiful!! The impossible however was completed, and I picked out my entire Miss America wardrobe!!! 

 The America's choice video took  an entire week and a half to complete.  I was so blessed to have the beautiful Longwood Gardens, The Grand Opera House,  and the UD Bookstore donate their spaces for me to film in.  The project involved so many people and I would like to thank Jordan Mizrahi, Daniel Jackson, KMC Dance, and all of the children and mothers who helped organize and donate their time to make my video a work of art. 

My first appearance was at Bethany Beach for the Fourth of July and I could not have asked for a better first experience as Miss Delaware.  I had never had the pleasure of vacationing in Bethany but I will make sure to stop there in the future.  During the parade, every person I came in contact with was so friendly, cheering my name as loudly as possible, and even following my red Corvette driven by Ed and offering me water.  The beach enjoyed me so much I ended up in the paper the next day.  I met a wonderful boy named Josh who sought me out after the parade to give me a hug and kiss before I left.  Right after Bethany, I drove to Dover for their fourth of July Parade which was a blast.  I was finally able to have my first ride in the convertible with Donald and was able to bring my bubble blower to entertain the children in the parade.  I was even able to get a killer starfish ring from one of the stands.

I was also blessed in being able to continue my platform work across the state of Delaware.  Today there are 200 Foster Children who have a Penny the Piano book encouraging finding your home within yourself and the love of the arts.  200 Foster Families have an activity guide that goes along with the book that encourages family bonding through the use of the arts and creative activities.  It was so wonderful to speak to those who are making such a difference in children's lives across the state of Delaware.  My work is just beginning however and I am starting the next chapter of my platform which is giving free lessons for foster children by creating a directory of businesses willing to donate lessons.  If you are a business or person who teaches group lessons and would be willing to donate on slot in your class for a foster child please contact me over facebook.  One child being added in a classroom is a small donation that can change a child's life.  It can be anything from music to soccer lessons, anything that can spark a child's interest and make them feel like they are a valuble member of that classroom.

I then went to the Delaware State fair on Governor's Day, which I have to say that it is the best fair ever!!  I was so blessed to spend the day with the gracious Governor Markell and he even treated his entire entourage to ice cream.  I got to see a bill turn into law before my very eyes, the bill was for helping education and furthering the study of wildlife in the state of Delaware.  My day was made when I got to pet a cow, pig, and hold a tiny chick!  I was able to sing for the leaders of Delaware that night.  I loved sharing my love of performing with such influential people in Delaware and I hope to have another opportunity to entertain.  That night I modeled dresses and jewelry for Ladies Image at the Best of Delaware.  There are so many wonderful things in Delaware and it was so exciting to see them all at the same place at the same time.

I was then invited to the Miss Maine Invitational.  I was able to meet some lovely contestants for the Miss America Pageant, stop at Schoppy's (the creators of the original Miss America Crown), visit MAO headquarters, go to Boardwalk Hall, and stop at the Sheraton to see some shoes and dresses of past Miss America contestants.  I surprisingly ran into the legendary Susan Powell!!!

 Part of my journey as a titleholder is to raise money for Children's Miracle Network and to start my fundraising, a Princess Party was held.  At the party we had pancakes, played pin the crown on the princess, sang Disney Princess Songs, and played with arts and crafts.  It was so much fun and a giant thank you to Rhonda Martell and Laura Moylan for organizing the party and to Alix Gardner, Shelli and Emalie (Emmie :P) Lawson, and Roe and Arlene Maheu for donating your time to party!  There will be another Princess Party in the future tbd.  If you want to donate to CMN follow the link below!

Rebecca Jackson Miss Delaware CMN Page

My time as Miss Delaware so far has been so incredibly rewarding and I am so blessed and lucky to be called Miss Delaware 2013.  In this up and coming month I will be working hard preparing for the Miss America stage.  I would like to thank you all for your encouraging words and love during this enriching yet stressful time.  I love the facebook messages, posts, tweets, and faith I have been receiving and please keep it coming.  It helps me remember that there is an entire state rooting for me on this difficult journey and I am working hard to make you all proud!!

Much Love
Rebecca Jackson Miss DE 2013

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