Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Never Give Up

"If you want a thing bad enough, to go out and fight for it, work day and night for it, give up your time and your peace and your sleep for it... If gladly you’ll sweat for it, fret for it, plan for it....If you’ll simply go after that thing that you want, with all your capacity, strength and sagacity, faith, hope, and confidence, stern pertinacity...If neither cold poverty, famished and gaunt, nor sickness nor pain of body and brain can turn you away from the thing that you want, if dogged and grim you besiege and beset it- you'll get it."

Miss Delaware 2014 pageant! The abridged poem above has helped me through so many challenging moments in my life. Despite my gown arriving just moments before the evening gown competition and pulling my hamstring during preliminary talent...thanks to my AMAZING support circle I was still able to dance through the physical pain and mental anguish to showcase the best version of myself. God
has a plan, even if we can't always see it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

"Life Ain't Been No Crystal Stair": The Unconventionality of My Life and Year As Miss Delaware

I don’t think there are adequate words to describe the last few days. I have experienced a whirlwind of emotions. I also know that this past year I worked harder than ever before to present the best possible version of myself on the Miss Delaware stage. Being called first runner up earlier this month was an extremely humbling experience but I looked forward to celebrating the win of my fellow pageant sister.

We may not always understand the plan but God works in mysterious ways. It gives me great solace to remember that everything happens for a reason.

On June 26th I was crowned Miss Delaware 2014. While the circumstances have not been traditional, I know that I have dreamed about this moment since I was five years old and I am beyond grateful. When thinking about my story I reflect on the poetry of the late Langston Hughes, “Life Ain’t Been No Crystal Stair.” Those that know me personally can speak to the adversity, unconventionality, and eccentricity through all major times in my life. My new title as Miss Delaware has been no different.

I am being given the opportunity of a lifetime as a role model and official representative of the state of Delaware. I am looking forward to a wonderful year of service as I promote my platform of Domestic Violence Awareness in memory of my guardian angel and deceased sister Gina Clarke-Lewis.

Thank you to everyone that has supported me up to this moment and all those that have welcomed me with open arms moving forward. I’m looking forward to continuing the rich legacy of the organization and tirelessly serving my community and sisters memory.

Your Miss Delaware 2014,


Saturday, June 14, 2014


For my last blog post, here is my farewell speech from the Miss Delaware Tribute Brunch.  

When your name is called as Miss Delaware a rush of emotions comes over your crowning which can only be equated to euphoria. The first walk almost takes you to a different world.  You see everyone looking at you with joy, excitement, and most importantly, expectation.  It is the expectation set by the paths of previous Miss Delaware’s before me.  I strove to create my own path and I am very proud of the journey I had.

However I have found that it is nearly impossible to write a speech.  There are so many different things I want to say without becoming long winded, boring, or too serious.  I pondered on this for a while and decided the best way to express my year is to speak to the future Miss Delaware.  Giving her the tips and tricks for this year.

1.     You will be busy.  The first week after crowning you will become extremely familiar with your new kingdom of Delaware.  The first week of Miss Delaware is jam packed with appearances, fittings, pictures, etc…  Day 3 after crowning I had 3 parades in one day. After the first parade in Bethany. I was running back to my car to head to the next parade when a little boy and his father ran up to me.  The little boy had Downs Syndrome and was going through chemotherapy.  His father said that during the entire parade, all he could talk about is how he wanted to meet the beautiful princess.  He smiled, said I was beautiful and gave me a kiss on the cheek.   No amount of stress or business should stop you from experiencing the beautiful moments.

2.     The next tip, almost contradictory but Miss America is not the end goal.  At Miss America you will meet 52 of the most beautiful, kind, intelligent women in the USA.  They will become your best friends.  One of my favorite events this year was going to New York City with Miss Iowa and meeting the performers of the Musical Little Miss Sunshine.  That event completely came from my relationship with her.  Most importantly Miss America is a place for you to discover who you are.  You will experience stress, frustration, anger, and you will find out who you are under these circumstances.  You will also experience friendship, fun, laughter, and joy.  There are very few moments in life where you can experience the whole gamut of human emotion and the human experience.  Miss America is that cherished chance to be better than who you already are. 

3.     Strength. Miss America prepares you to be a stronger person.  During this year you will go to parties, galas, government functions, and joyous occasions.  More importantly, you will see people who are struggling. During Christmas time, Miss Delaware goes to all of the Children’s hospitals in the state.  You will see children with mental disabilities, cancer, illness, and other ailments.  When you go to the hospitals, you are not important.  You are there solely to bring joy to the children who need a little happiness in their life.  It is a huge responsibility and you must be strong for them.  Those days were the most exhausting part of my Miss Delaware reign.  However it makes it all worthwhile when you see a child’s face light up.  A doctor ran up to me at the hospital and said a child desperately wanted to see me.  When I walked in, she started bawling because she was so excited to see me.   I asked her why she was crying and she said because I want to be just like you when I grow up. 

4.     Next advice is that no matter how you feel you must be a positive light for those you come into contact with.  You must be the person that you want people to emulate. Christmas Eve, I was misdiagnosed with Lymphoma. Christmas time a packed time for Miss Delaware and I did not miss any appearances.  The day I got a biopsy, I left for New York City to sing at the Colgate Games.  I sang the Star Spangled Banner in front of thousands of people with a golf ball sized lump on my neck.   When I sang, all the girls started hooting and hollering and they told me that I sounded better Alicia Keys.  I made an effort to talk to each girl and give photo pads to each one.  They did not know that I was going through a dark time in my life and I did not want them to know because this would be the only time they would come into contact with a Miss Delaware and I wanted them to remember what the crown represents.  I kept this private from everyone,


6.     though it turned out to be ok.  For two weeks, I had to live with the possibility I might have cancer.  It made me think about having to give up the crown early because I wouldn’t have been able to continue my duties.  It made me rethink the rest of my year.

7.     Focus on the Service.  As you have been coached, there are four points on the crown.  Scholarship, Style, Success, Service.  Service, for me, was the best part of this year.   I went to many events involving Foster Children.  I handed out over 500 books to foster children this year, I gave presents to foster children during Christmas time, I spoke at Child Inc.’s 50th anniversary dinner, I spoke at Lyme Disease meetings.  These events are what make your year different from any other previous Miss Delaware.   The crown has a power behind it, use it to help a cause you are passionate about.

8.     Have fun!  The majority of your appearances are at schools doing something called character counts.  This program encourages young children to become upstanding citizens in the future.  During these presentations, I would have a question and answer session.  My favorite questions include.

a.     Are you a real princess?
b.     Do you have a limo?
c.      Are you single?  Followed by, is Mr. Delaware your boyfriend?
d.     Are you wearing makeup?
e.     And my all time favorite question was “Do you like rocks?”  When I said yes the little boy proceeded to pull a giant rock out of nowhere and give it to me. 

My last bit of advice for you, future Miss Delaware, is to cherish each and every moment your crown is on your head.  The year will be over before you know it, I know mine was.  Being Miss Delaware is a highlight of my life.  I will miss wearing the crown. Someday I might put it on in the safety of my own home while watching the newest Game of Thrones just to feel a little bit of the magic that the crown possesses.  However, part of what makes this experience so rewarding is that it is so fleeting.  It has been a pleasure being your Miss Delaware 2013 and I look forward to seeing the young women from this organization succeed. 

Today is the day, I will be giving up my crown.  I am feeling quite nostalgic at this moment because this year has been the most rewarding year of my life.  Each parade, appearance, interview, and person has changed me for the better.  It has been an honor to represent the state of Delaware.  I know that this is just a brief stop on my journey but I will cherish my Miss Delaware Title for the rest of my life.  Looking forward to crowning Miss Delaware 2014 and seeing what an amazing adventure they have.  

Rebecca Jackson
Miss Delaware 2013

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Pageant Packing List- The things you don't know you need

Hello readers!

The day before I leave for Massachusetts, I find that I have a flat tire.  I am sitting in the car shop and thought "Why don't I write a fun informal blog post!"  Well here it is!

I hate packing.  No matter what the destination I find that it is a very stressful situation because I almost always end up forgetting something. Well Miss Delaware 2013 is going to help you with your all of your unconventional packing needs. 

1.  Sweatshirts
              Yes, it is the beginning of summer and it is 85 degrees outside but the ballroom is freezing!!  You will be very happy for a warm sweatshirt during rehearsals.

2.  Blanket and pillow
               At Miss America, I completely forgot both of these items and most of the other girls did as well.  We all bought matching Miss America blankets and coveted them.  You will be tired during Miss Delaware week and you will appreciate a quick cat nap when other contestants are rehearsing their talent or swimsuit walk.

3.  Copies of your paperwork
             Months after turning in your paperwork, it is easy to forget what those interesting facts are at the bottom of your resume.  The judges can ask anything from your paperwork and you do not want to be tripped up by the fact you put that you love beat-boxing at the bottom of your resume.

4.  Shoe grips/ gel pads
            The Miss Delaware stage is very slippery.  Buy these at your local Target or Walmart to ensure a steady swimsuit walk.

5.  Thank you cards
          Miss Delaware is run by volunteers and every event you go to is donated through the organization.  Thank every person you come in contact with.

 6.  Baby wipes
         These are the HOLY GRAIL of pageant week.  You can use them to wipe off your makeup, clean a scuff off a shoe, get makeup off of an outfit, clean up your station, clean off your makeup brushes, and wipe off after a hot day.  The possibilities are endless!

7.  Cough Drops (without menthol) or Airborne 
          The dreaded reality of Miss Delaware week is that at least one person will get sick.  Cough drops with Zinc and Vitamin C or Airborne are the best defense against sickness.  The reason you need cough drops without menthol is because menthol numbs your throat and can cause vocal damage to singers. 

8.  Gifts
        You need to bring gifts for all 17 of your Miss Delaware sisters, your 2 Miss Delaware princesses, and your roommate.

          Miss Delaware provides you with breakfast, lunch, and dinner but if you are like me, the hunger never subsides.  I love trail mix and Luna bars for an afternoon snack. 

8.  Labels/sewing  kit
         Label everything you bring backstage.  It is very easy to get things mixed up or to misplace something during the scramble of competition.  Labeling is the best way to get things returned to you.  Sewing kit for those little nicks and tears.

9.  Emergency cash
        Just in case and if you need to tip!

10.  Tanning towels/ double stick tape
       The double stick tape helps keep things in place.  The negative of the tape is that it pulls off spray tan.  Tanning towels help your spray tan last and cover up spots that are missed.

11.  Positive attitude
          17 of you will be competing but only one of you will be Miss Delaware 2014.  The only reason that she will be crowned is that it is her year.  Prepare yourself for winning and prepare for supporting the future Miss Delaware. 

Hope this helps!
Rebecca Jackson
Miss Delaware 2013

Here is a nice conventional packing list from The Pageant Planet if you still need help :)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Musings of a Miss

Saturday was the Miss Delaware First Orientation meaning that my year as Miss Delaware has only two months left.  A melancholy feeling rushed over me when I first stepped into the building but seeing the hopeful faces reminded me of the first time I stepped into first orientation myself.  Frightened and intimidated, I stood up, introduced my self, mistakenly introduced my mentor, Laura Moylan, and sat down flustered.  Seeing the 2014 Miss Delaware faces gave me a sense of excitement for the future Miss Delaware. 

The journey for these new girls will be a tough one but will completely change their lives as it did mine.  I have a few small bits of advice for the girls competing.

1.  Practice your talent a little bit every day
                   Talent can be daunting if you don't know it like the back of your hand.  
You should hate to love your talent

2.  Know about the State of Delaware and current events.  
You don't have to expert but if asked know the basics 
and have a concise opinion on the issues. 
Learn fun facts and places to go and see in Delaware.  
You can't be Miss Delaware if you aren't a spokesperson for the state!

3.  Eat Healthily
There are many diets for pageant girls but my favorite is to eat not for taste but for fuel.  
Plan your meals so that you get the proper amount of greens, fruits, veggies, and protein.
I like to eat the rainbow (have each food on my plate a different color aka no plate full of brown foods)  and juicing!

4.   Workout
15 minutes a day can make a world of diffence.  
Can't get to the gym?  Body weight and a yoga mat are all you need.

5.  Work on your spirit.
Being in a pageant takes confidence and and a strong center.  
Find a way to ground yourself and improve your confidence.

Happy beginning of a new adventure!

Becca Jackson
Miss Delaware 2013

The start of my adventure

Monday, March 31, 2014

Pink and Pepper Loves Miss Delaware

Pink and Pepper Shoes are offering a 20% discount and a portion of the proceeds go to
 Miss Delaware Organization's Scholarship Fund if you use the promo code above.

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