I can hardly believe that a year has passed since I was crowned Miss Virginia United States! I have spent this last year promoting my platform, “Volunteerism & Community Involvement”: partnering with organizations like the Grace Oughten Cancer Foundation; Relay For Life; Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Virginia; and, St. Jude’s Hospital (just to name a few).
I must say a special thank you to my coworkers, with whom I had the most fun: delivering toys to children in the metropolitan area during Christmas, building new homes with Habitat for Humanity, and planning an awesome Field Day for the students of JC Nalle Elementary.
Thank you to my wonderful sponsors: to Ginny Betteridge of Rodan Fields for helping my skin look radiant throughout my reign; to Dave McIntosh Photographics for my stunning headshot; The Photography Smiths, LaDexon Photographie, Carrington & Finch Photography, Rick Myers Photography, and AJ Photoz for great photoshoots; and to Melissa Mangrum for my fabulous makeup at nationals.
To my pageant family … Laura Clark & Chris Wilmer: I admire your vision and your passion for this organization. Mariah, you have such determination and strength that most young women your age could only hope to possess; and Jocelyn, thank you for being my sounding board and I wish the best for you and your future hubby.
Most importantly, I want to thank those nearest and dearest to my heart for molding me into the woman who stands before you today. To my Elite sisters – Bridget, Chrissy, and Kiara – pageant week would have not been the same without the three of you in my corner. To Steve, thank you for being the calm in the storm that is my life. To my father – for pushing me to always be my best; Mum, thank you for reminding me that I am always enough; and to my sister, Tanya, thank you for always being my number 1 fan.
What a blessing and honor it has been to serve this great commonwealth. Thank you all of your support and love.
For the last time, I am your Miss Virginia United States (2014)