|PHOTOGRAPHY BY FADIL BERISHA
How does it feel like being Miss Missouri USA 2014?
It is living out a dream, something I always wanted to do was a young girl. I still feel like I must be dreaming at times!! I feel so incredibly lucky.
List three adjectives that best describe yourself.
Goofy, tenacious, empathetic.
Name three pet peeves.
A pet peeve of mine is when someone lies, wastes my time, or takes advantage of others!
As an educated woman who is also very attractive, how do you deal with the stereotyping based on beauty alone?
I think the stereotype really hinders women, it sends the message that woman can only be beautiful or educated. I fight that stereotype by being educated and not focusing only on appearance. Personally, I think that smart is sexy!
|PHOTOGRAPHY BY RACHEL IMDIEKE
What is the best compliment you have ever received?
That I am really sincere and genuine.
What makes Missouri unique from the other states?
It is smack dab in the middle of the United States!
How do you influence people to live healthy lives?
I influence others by living a balanced lifestyle that is healthy and easy to maintain. Crash dieting and extreme fitness or diet routines are harmful to not only myself, but others too!
What are you personally doing to save our environment?
I try and to do all the little things that I can such as energy saving light bulbs, driving less, using reusable water bottles, and recycling.
If you could invite three people to dinner, who would it be and why?
Hmmm... Oprah Winfrey because she is a powerful woman and I look up to her. Andy Cohen because he is hilarious and from St. Louis. And Cameron Diaz because I have always loved her. She is a model turned actress and I would love to pick her brain!
What constitutes a "gentleman" today?
A man who respects a woman in all ways.This shows through in how he speaks to her, about her, and how he is willing to compromise for her.
What do you think is the most important social issue facing our generation?
I think a major issue facing my generation is job availability. So many young adults have college education and are unable to put it to good use.
If you could pass any law, what would it be?
I would pass a law requires teenagers to stay in high school till the age of 18. I think 16 is too young to allow them to stop education, I don't believe they really know the life long consequences they might suffer from dropping out.
Many mainstream artists today are conveying negative messages through their songs. Do you believe these songs should be played on the radio?
That's a good question, because keeping an artist off the radio for their message would be taking away their freedom of speech to an extent. I think that what a person listens to can affect their speak, thoughts, and actions. It is concerning and I think the best solution is for people to take more self-responsibility when it comes to making positive choices.
What do you do for fun?
If I can't be outside, then I love to thrift shop. I have a knack for finding the best items while thrift shopping!
Why do you want to be the next Miss USA?
Aside from it being the opportunity of a lifetime and a life long dream I really want the chance to utilize my passion for helping others on a large scale.