I created and started this pageant as an opportunity to create an international Teen program like many of the other international pageants for their Miss counterparts. The concept began as an idea back in 1998 when I was traveling to an international pageant with a representative from the United States. This idea was stuck in my head for almost 5 years before I even began to do research.
So, to tell the story of this journey, I need to begin at an earlier time in my pageant career. For years I was involved with many other pageant programs and never really found a pageant program with the same beliefs I had or even the same concepts. I wanted to find a pageant family without the politics or directors that were as old as the the Bible.
I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. One of my business partners and I conducted a state pageant that lead to another popular national pageant. We decided to call it quits after five years and much success. For almost 10 years I tried to get back into the very same organization without the same success I had with my old partner. A few years later I had the opportunity to judge a state pageant within that very system and had an experience which conflicted with my personal beliefs of INTEGRITY and HONESTY.
It was at this moment that I realized and had my "AHA" moment as Oprah would call it. I came to the conclusion that I was sitting and waiting for my own visions of success to happen, while waiting for this other organization to bring me back. I was holding myself back to try and fulfill what I thought was one of my biggest dreams but, in reality, it was one of the biggest self discoveries I have ever had. This is when the realization came that I needed to move forward with the plans that I had conceptualized nearly 10 years earlier. The following week I finalized my Trademark and moved forward with the plan.I have put together an ethics committee that consists of doctors, lawyers, professors, former titleholders, clients and mothers which will remind me of that very day I lost faith in pageants after being a judge.
After 17 years of pageant experience I was finally creating and making history of my own. On August 23, 2008 my very first teen pageant took place! Here I realized that I had created an environment that would give me my own "Pageant Family" that I had been searching for. I realized that I had some as close to my own backyard in Wichita, Kansas and some as far away as Odessa, Ukraine but none the less we were a pageant family. With that said we are now the fastest growing network of directors and friends that are building a brand and redefining pageants for teenagers. My new personal motto "Be your own Kind of Beautiful!"
I realized that I was finally the boss, the chief, the director! For years me and my pageant friends joked about how some others in our group only knew how to be a chief and never an Indian. I worked with so many pageants and worked as a good little Indian. I was finally getting to be the big kahuna and with that comes some responsibility so this saying came to mind, "To whom much is given, much is required". With this great opportunity and potential for success that I have created I am always mindful of my environment and the people in my vicinity so....
I have put together an ethics committee that consists of doctors, lawyers, professors, former titleholders, clients and mothers which will remind me of that very day I lost faith in pageants after being a judge. I did this so that I can remind everyone involved in this pageant, whether they are a national director, state director, local director, staff member, sponsor or volunteer, that we must always be honest, always put contestants first and to always remember that pageants are in the business of making young ladies dreams come true and as directors, sponsors, staff members and adults that our job is to ensure that these young ladies never stop believing in their dreams!
Eleanor Roosevelt once said,
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams!"