I had this thought of misconception about pageants and the girls who compete in them. I competed in my first pageant when I was 20 years old and had no idea what I was getting myself into. I knew nothing about the pageant industry; my background up to that point was strictly sports, that’s all I played since I was three. Luckily my best friend competed in pageants since she was 4 years old and not only encouraged me to compete, but helped me to start my pageant journey.
What I have learned from my pageant experiences are that the girls involved are extraordinary women. In some ways, it’s almost like a sorority and I have met some of my best friends at pageants. Pageants encourage contestants to become involved in their communities, have confidence, learn public speaking skills, and can even help them earn scholarship money for college. Standing in front of thousands of people takes a lot of courage and even though you might be scared out of your mind (like I was for the first time) trust me, it’s worth it.
I feel after competing in International Junior Miss for three years, I have gained so much more self-confidence and self-perseverance. Because of IJM I've had the opportunity to meet women from all over the globe and created friendships that will last me a lifetime, I mean how many young women do you know that you can say they are friends with an Australian?! I CAN! IJM is so much more than just glamour; it’s about the service, sisterhood and the family, and I'm so excited to be a part of it!