I'd like to share with you all some very exciting upcoming news.
I am pleased to announce that I have been crowned Miss Connecticut International 2014! I'll be competing for the title of Miss International 2014 this July in Jacksonville, Florida. Being selected as a contestant is a tremendous honor, and I cannot wait to represent my amazing home state in the Miss International pageant. This is about more than just the show buzz of pageantry itself. The Miss International Pageant honors the various achievements and accomplishments of all participating women and brings awareness to each of our own individual platforms, breeding great mentors.
My own platform concerns something that has always been very personal to me: mental health. Regardless of how common mental health illness is, many people feel overwhelmingly uncomfortable, even ashamed, of their own. They fear ridicule and rejection, and my end goal is for these fears to subside. I want to demonstrate that people with mental health disorders can lead fulfilled productive lives. My hope is also to empower others to embrace those with mental health disorders and share the understanding that no person is defined by his or her illness. I once read, "My recovery from depression has been an evolution, not a sudden miracle". With mental illness you have two choices: you can either let it run your life, or you can take control. Each of us already knows well or will spend some amount of time with someone with a mental health disorder. Bringing light to these issues will be not only life changing, but lifesaving, as well.
I've endured mental illness very personally, both with my own anxiety and depression, as well as with the disorders of multiple family members and friends. For some time, I blatantly ignored my mental health, a choice that inevitably began to deteriorate my friendships, my work ethic, and my self-esteem. Such a crippling mentality can result in even fatal consequences, and I've learned firsthand just how easily such outcomes can be prevented. Admittedly I was once very lost, but with help from my determined and caring family and friends, I have been able to regain complete control of how to best manage my own mental health. When combined with will, education and knowledge produce the power of change. I was lucky enough to receive exceptional care.
I want to inspire others to change their hearts, minds, and attitudes towards and about mental illness. My hope is that those who live with these challenges will embrace what they have, take control, and not let their illness become all that they are. I hope also that society can learn to appreciate the challenges life presents, and choose to accept anyone who suffers from a mental disorder. I am an active role model for others, demonstrating that it is absolutely possible to live a healthy, fulfilling life with an illness. I am not ashamed, embarrassed, or bitter. I am only stronger. And I am proud to bring light to a topic that is so often pushed deeper into the darkness.
Miss International contestants, all between the ages of 19 and 30, will be judged on poise, confidence, goal-setting, public speaking and communication skills, physical fitness, and self-discipline. Competing in this pageant will provide many career and educational opportunities, not only to the winner, but to all the young women participating. For me especially, this is an amazing way for me to push my platform strong from the very beginning.
Although my passion and determination is unfaltering, the pageant itself is very expensive. I'm reaching out to family, friends, and local businesses to help me reach my goal. Your contribution will go towards my contestant entry fee and travel expenses. Any support is extremely appreciated.
Thank you for your continuous support!
Miss Connecticut International 201
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