Service: My Favorite Point

It has been a while since I have written! I had a different direction for this post but my heart had something else in mind. As I have been preparing for Miss Indiana very diligently, I have made a promise to myself to hold true to the four points of the crown that have been a huge drive, other than my family and I’s dream, behind my dedication to the program for so many years. So for the next couple of blog posts, I am going to share with you all each point of the crown- style, success, service and scholarship- and what each point means to me.

First I am going to start with my favorite point, service. Service has always been my favorite point because I love everything about philanthropy. I also love that the point of service allows for each person to be involved in whatever they are passionate about. In my last post, I shared a lot about my platform and my aunt. But before my aunt passed, my platform revolved around a program called Pass the Pom at my high school.

The program was self-created and a way to raise, money and awareness of the American Cancer Society. At the time of Pass the Pom’s creation, my cousin was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease. In a very shortened explanation, my cousin Kyle is unable to produce the steroids the average person’s body naturally produces.

He went into an Addisonian crisis and we are very lucky he is alive because nobody knew he had this disease until then. One of the biggest causes of the disease is cancer. Thankfully, that was not the case for Kyle, but I still wanted to help others in similar situations who may be faced with the scary cancer diagnoses. I loved this platform, but after graduating it was hard to stay involved as much as I would have liked.

I struggled at times because I did not have that strong sense of service afterwards that I had loved sharing so much before. It really took me until my aunt passed and I went through so much for me to find something I was truly passionate about. It started by helping with local fit events in my area like 5k’s and Bike Rides.

Then I decided to start blogging about my appearances and experiences with my platform. Now I am a spokesperson for the 54,000 member organization, the Obesity Action Coalition. I also have teamed up locally with the Indiana Medical Weight Loss Center.  It is truly amazing how my platform has grown, and really how much I have grown from this organization too.

For me, service is about putting others before yourself. I always knew that was one of your duties as a Miss America titleholder on a local, state and national level. But I do not think I truly understood what it meant to be completely selfless until I started teaching this year.

Being from a very poverty ridden area and school has really opened my eyes to what is important in life. I love that my students often feel comfortable with sharing their lives, both good and bad with me. It is not easy though sometimes knowing their true potential may never be met because of their home lives or backgrounds.

As a teacher, I try to exemplify service every day by reminding my students of their value but also the value of education. When I walk into my classroom every day and see their smiling faces, I am reminded of why I am working so hard for my dream.

The point of service on the Miss America crown is where this journey for me started and that love for service will never change, no matter what happens in June or beyond. This is why I have made it a goal to do as many appearances as possible. Since my crowning, I have had at least one if not more every weekend. 

Service is just one way for me to help give back to my community and organization that has shaped me into the person I am today.

 

Dr. Braff and her husband Lanny from the Indiana Medical Weight Loss and Wellness Center in Richmond met with me to talk about helping their center and promoting my platform.

Dr. Braff and her husband Lanny from the Indiana Medical Weight Loss and Wellness Center in Richmond met with me to talk about helping their center and promoting my platform.

Saving Lives by donating blood at the Ethan Cheesman Memorial Blood Drive!

Saving Lives by donating blood at the Ethan Cheesman Memorial Blood Drive!

Hanging out with Charlie Cardinal at Ball State University at the No More Obstacles Challenge Course with the Exercise Science Club.

Hanging out with Charlie Cardinal at Ball State University at the No More Obstacles Challenge Course with the Exercise Science Club.

My certificate of Congressional Recognition.  So humbled to have received this from Rep. Luke Messer!

My certificate of Congressional Recognition.  So humbled to have received this from Rep. Luke Messer!