|PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRAD OLSON
How did you become interested in pageants?
Last July, I decided to compete in a fitness bikini competition after loosing 40 pounds 6 months’ prior. After the competition I was approached by one of my sorority sisters who was involved in the pageant organization and she originally put the idea in my head. At first I didn’t think I wanted to compete because I had such a false perception as to what pageants truly were. The more I researched and talked to former pageant winners I decided that it was a great opportunity for me. I figured I had nothing to lose but everything in the world to gain. I went into the weekend as excited and optimistic as can be, I made so many new friends, and I was lucky enough to be crowned.
Give three adjectives that your friends would describe you.
Genuine. Confident. Selfless.
What do you see when you look in the mirror?
I see a strong, independent, confident young woman. I am so proud of all of the progress that I’ve made over the past 8 months. I have completely mentally and physically transformed myself. I set so many goals for myself and I am accomplishing them solely because I believe in myself and I know how strong I am.
How do you measure success?
I measure success by the way you view yourself. If you are proud of yourself and proud of what you’re accomplishing then you are successful. I don’t believe that true success can be measured by materialistic things.
How do you handle criticism?
I truly believe that you are your own toughest critic. I am constantly giving myself constructive criticism because I am always striving to be the best I can be. I also love to hear constructive criticism from my loved ones or people who have an influence on me because I feel like I can take that and better myself. However, when it’s criticism coming from people who are just trying to put me down then I ignore it.
If you were to come back as an animal in the next life, what would you be and why?
That is a tough one, but I think I would want to be a bird. I mainly would want this because I want to be able to travel and see as much of the world as possible. I like the idea of being able to fly from place to place whenever I wanted.
Name three pet peeves.
People who pity themselves
People who chew with their mouth open
People who don’t work for what they have
What will you never do?
I will never let someone take care of me. I always want to work for the things that I have, and know that I earned my success because of my own hard work. I’m far too independent to be a trophy wife. Haha!
Got any favorite reality shows?
My favorite show of all time is Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition. I am such a huge fan of Chris Powell and I think it’s absolutely amazing how much of a positive influence he has on people. Nothing is more exciting to me than watching people accomplish their goals, especially when it comes to physical and mental transformations. I tear up every episode; it's ridiculous.
True or False: People who are attractive tend to be more successful.
I think success makes people more attractive because of the way they carry themselves. Successful people tend to believe in themselves more and more confident, which in return makes them more attractive.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
I would change the unequal distribution of wealth. I know that sounds weird, but I think that the root of evil really is money. Some people have way too much of it, while others don't even have enough to pay for their basic necessities. I don’t believe that money buys happiness, but I do think that it is difficult to be entirely happy when there is such a stress put on money. Our society has unfortunately made money the center of everything, and put it into our heads that we can’t be happy unless we are able to have an abundant amount of materialistic things. It’s always about “keeping up with the jones.” Don’t get me wrong I think that people who work hard should definitely be able to have more wealth and a more prosperous life. However, I don’t think it’s fair that while some people are swimming in money other individuals in other countries can’t even cover basic necessities. I would hope that by distributing wealth a little bit more people will stop focusing so much on money and start focusing on the things in life that truly matter. The most valuable things in life can’t be bought, and if the stress of money could be lessened I think more people would be able to realize that.
Do you have a problem saying "no"?
No, I don’t have a problem saying no. Haha! I think it takes a strong person to say no whenever something goes against their beliefs or their values.
Describe a romantic date.
Food is the way to my heart so I think going to a nice candlelit dinner somewhere is always so romantic.
Your craziest or funniest tweet so far.
My craziest tweet was one that I had sent while I was doing interviews on the red carpet at the American Country Awards in Las Vegas last month. I was working an after party and I met DeeJay Silver and he and I took a picture and he tweeted it saying how awesome it was to meet me. I was on cloud nine the entire time.
Why do you want to be the next Miss USA?
I want to be the next Miss USA because I feel like I could have such a positive impact on people. I love the fact that I am able to be a role model for people and inspire them to reach their goals. I am a down to earth young woman who has been through a lot in order to be in my current position. I would absolutely love the opportunity to network with so many incredible people all over the USA and in other countries as well. I know that I would be able to represent the USA in a positive way and I would do whatever it took to make sure that I was the best Miss USA I could possibly be.
|FLAG OF ARIZONA
PHOTOS PROVIDED BY CASTING CROWNS PRODUCTIONS/JORDAN WESSEL
SPECIAL THANKS TO STATE DIRECTOR BRITT BOYSE
FOR FACILITATING THE INTERVIEW