Hi there! I’m a couple months into my reign as Miss Wisconsin 2018 and (believe it or not) there are only a few weeks until I depart for Atlantic City, New Jersey to compete for Miss America. Now more than ever, I figured what better time to take a moment to get to know me in a fun, interactive way?! Earlier this week I took to Instagram, using the question feature to acquire questions from followers to utilize for this post. I wanted to add a little twist on a “getting to know Miss Wisconsin” – with all your input because after all, I am representing you all in serving the state. Here are the questions you asked and I gladly answered:
How old are you? I am twenty-five years old. Last year, I placed as 1st Runner-Up and technically “aged out” of eligibility to compete within the Miss America Organization. Thankfully, a local titleholder in Virginia wrote a letter urging the national board to extend the age limit and they did! // Did you know, the age limit used to in fact be 25 for an elongated period of time?
Where are you from? I was born and raised in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin right in the middle of the state. After winning Miss Wisconsin in June, I resigned at my previous place of employment and moved back home to Rapids to focus on being the best state titleholder I can be. Thankful to have mom and dad’s house as home base this year as I travel throughout the state!
Do you remember when you came to Jackson to talk to the 6th graders with Courtney? I do! I was Miss Harbor Cities at the time and Courtney, Miss Wisconsin 2016 was Miss Green Bay Area (her preliminary title to winning Miss Wisconsin that June).
Where did you go to school and why did you choose to go there? I graduated high school from Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids and went on to attend the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Have you ever had braces? Thankfully, no. My teeth came in pretty straight and I did not have to have braces.
What’s your favorite memory from Miss America Orientation in Orlando, Florida? Oh goodness, this is a hard one to pinpoint. I thoroughly loved meeting the 50 women I’ll be spending two weeks with in Atlantic City and getting to know more about their educational pursuits, platforms, and background. I roomed with Miss Texas, Madison Fuller during my time in Florida and she’s a sweetheart – go give her a “follow” on social media friends! I have no doubt you’ll love her heart and energy as much as I do!
Aside from fostering new relationships, my favorite aspect of orientation was cheering on my incredible teen, Mandi Genord! She exuded so much poise and confidence on that national stage and crushed her dance during preliminary competition! Extra thankful to have her back in Wisconsin for the rest of the year.
Do you wear your Apple Watch in the water? Yes! Don’t worry, I was sincerely afraid the first time I wore mine too! I double and even triple checked with my brother-in-law who said it was fine and let me tell you…it does a phenomenal job at tracking laps in the pool (and knowing exactly what type of stroke you’re executing). I would not recommend wearing it in the lake, river, or hot water (such as a hot tub or bubble bath).
What’s your favorite grab and go food whenever you are on the road? I always love me a large French Fry from McDonald’s, but my go-to travel food is sunflower seeds; dill pickle ones specifically!
How many years have you been competing in Miss Wisconsin? I began competing when I was a senior in high school, in the fall of 2010 with the Miss Wisconsin Rapids Area program. It took me four attempts to win my first local, Miss La Crosse/Oktoberfest 2012. I went on to hold the local titles of Miss Seven Rivers 2014, Miss Madison Capital-City 2015, Miss Harbor Cities 2016, Miss Badgerland 2017, and finally Miss Wood Violet 2018. Yes, if you counted right that’s six attempts at Miss Wisconsin over the course of eight years and eleven local competitions.
Left or right Twix? Both Twix, please!
How has your college degree helped you succeed as Miss Wisconsin? I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational and Professional Communication Studies and a Minor in Sports Broadcasting from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in May, 2015. I thoroughly believe my studies in communication, body language, broadcasting techniques, and workplace relations have prepared me for the job of Miss Wisconsin.
On a daily basis, I am introducing myself to new contacts at appearances, speaking on various media platforms, and developing relationships with people throughout the state (and country). My background knowledge heightened my awareness of self and others, in turn assisting me in sending and receiving messages through communication.
What’s your favorite Disney movie? I’m a huge Cinderella fan!
What is your job as Miss Wisconsin? A week after being crowned Miss Wisconsin 2018, I resigned at my full-time job in advertising sales in Madison. Many people not familiar with the Miss America Organization don’t readily realize that Miss Wisconsin is in fact, a full-time responsibility. Throughout my year, I travel the state advocating for my platform, B.O.S.S. – Building Our Soft Skills, Strengthening Our Future, working as a Goodwill Ambassador for our national platform, Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, speaking at community engagements, etc.
Who is your Miss America roommate? Miss District of Columbia
What are you most nervous about for Miss America? Honestly, right now I’m most anxious about ensuring all of my luggage, competition wear, and clothing arrives in Atlantic City safely. Aside from that, I usually get nervous for interview. In my personal opinion, that’s a good thing. Nerves are a sign you care deeply about something, the trick is knowing how to channel those emotions into positive energy.
Have you always been a redhead? Yes, I have! My mom has red hair, that’s where I get it from.
Favorite appearance thus far? It’s hard to choose because they have all been memorable for very different reasons. However, if I had to pick one I would say my first parade as Miss Wisconsin in Columbus on the 4th of July. As I was riding down the parade route, I heard people exclaim, “Look! There’s Miss Wisconsin!” I had a moment where I looked around and thought, “where?” before truly recalling that they were referring to me and I was not dreaming. Along that same parade, I saw a handful of redheads and made a point to compliment their hair as I was picked on growing up for my red locks.
What have you struggled with previous in pageants and what advice do you have to others preparing?
The biggest obstacle I had to overcome previously in my pageant pursuits was intrinsically focusing on myself and not comparing myself to others. It seems trivial, but many times it is the most difficult part of ultimately achieving success. Do not compare yourself to other titleholders, previous titleholders, or state representatives — YOU are your own person. Trust in your accomplishments and embrace your talents; tell yourself that you are worthy of this position.
How do you keep all of your outfits organized and is it acceptable to wear the same outfit and pieces multiple times? There is no verbiage in my Miss Wisconsin contract that says I cannot wear pieces multiple times. Despite that fact, I do like to mix-up my clothing and ensure I’m keeping my image fresh and trendy. I like to buy staple, classy pieces that can transition from season to season with different accessories such as a jacket, jewelry, blazer, etc. Once I feel as though I have personally worn something ‘to the max’ or don’t foresee myself wearing it any more — I post it for sale on my Poshmark account (a handy app that provides people with a platform to buy and sell gently used, name brand clothing at a discount price).
On the other hand, I have always loved shopping! Now, I have a valid excuse to make more trips to TJ Maxx (who am I kidding, like I really needed an excuse)!
What is the first thing you would do as Miss America? Dip my toes in the Atlantic Ocean adorned in that iconic Miss America crown and sash, of course! it’s a time honored tradition!