I must say I have come a long way since beginning pageantry in 2008! I have completed more hours of community service than I imagined I could. It almost seems unreal to be a teacher, Ph.D student and volunteer all at the same time. One of the reasons why I believe I am not exhausted by the schedule I keep is because I truly enjoy volunteering. I cannot even begin to explain the feeling of fulfillment I feel from knowing I can help another person just from sharing my story—a message of hope to them. I did not have the opportunity to hear or receive a message of hope during my period of abuse, but I thank God that I can offer this opportunity to others.
I ended up losing the Maryland International pageant, but I gained wonderful friends and an enjoyable experience. To be able to compete with such lovely, friendly women makes the pageant experience one to remember. The international pageant system is great and I will definitely participate again!