With Ben Gray, council-member for District II in Omaha
I spent the evening at a Martin Luther King Jr. Banquet in Lincoln, Nebraska. What an inspiring evening. I can't begin to explain the impact Martin Luther King has had on America in the past, present and future. Discussions were made about acting fast and now, about causes that matter. I was reminded of the struggles some of my ancestors faced at a time when racism was at an all time high; and how Dr. Martin Luther King broke down doors with passion and doing what he knew was right. I truly believe that we all have the power within us to make a difference and make this world a better place. Starting today. It was such an amazing and motivating night honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, my hero.
One of my many favorite quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." A great quote to live by.
It was a great afternoon spending the day in Bellevue, Nebraska speaking to St. Mary's 4th through 8th grade students. When first arriving at St. Mary's school, I was greeted by excited smiles and energetic students. We took picture after picture and I signed autographs for each student. I let everyone try on my sash and crown, and by the end, the boys were evening trying them on. :-)
After everyone had a picture I was able to get down to business and talk to the students about the importance of education. I chose this to be my platform because I've seen how important education has been in my life. I truly believe education is the key to a successful future.
I talked to the students about being STARS. Not a reality TV star, or a pro baseball or basketball star, but being a STAR that stands for: staying in school, taking chances even if you fail, asking questions and reaching for your degree. I went into detail on each topic, and got the students involved by asking them questions and relating each topic to their lives. I stressed how important it is for them to show up to school and work hard, and to take chances and not to not let failures define you, but let them teach you. I went on to explain to them to never give up on their dreams and that asking questions is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. And last but not least I asked them to reach for the highest degree possible.
The students were wonderful and asked lots of fun questions after. Their questions varied from asking about my involvement in school, to whether I was team Jacob or team Edward. It was such a great experience to be able to share a passion of mine with these young students. I'm so excited to continue to spread this message across Nebraska!
This afternoon Geneice Wilcher, Miss Nebraska USA 2007, and I got together for lunch and a chit chat. Geneice is one of the most genuine, helpful, and gorgeous people I have ever met. It was nice to be able to get to know her better, and hear about her year as Miss Nebraska USA in 2007. After we finished lunch and our 3 hour long conversation, I now understood the "sisterhood" I have heard about. There is a special bond within titleholders. I think it has something to do with the fact that we've all been through similar experiences, have similar goals, and the same work ethic. In this case, I don't think any one would ever have trouble bonding with Geneice, she is truly an amazing woman! Our lunch date was filled with lots of laughs and lots of fun. I've landed a friendship for life with Geneice. Knowing I'm following in women's footsteps like hers, and other former Miss Nebraskas, makes me even more proud to be Miss Nebraska USA 2010.
Tonight Amanda and I had an appearance at the Stars Hockey game. We had a blast! We signed lots of autographs , took pictures with hockey fans, and rode the zamboni at half time. We also sat with Matt McKay from Matt McKay Mornings on 106.3 KFRX. He was such a nice guy, and we are looking forward to being on air with him in the near future. And to make the night even better, the Stars won!
Saturday evening I was able to spend the evening in Ord, NE at the Valley County Health Gala. This was a fundraiser to raise money for the new hospital that is going to be built in Ord. The theme was Denim and Diamonds, and guests could either wear formal attire or their favorite pair of blue jeans! The decorations were gorgeous, and so creative. Along with Senator Kate Sullivan, we judged the entertainment portion for the night. The entertainment was interesting and definitely entertaining to say the least! Kate Sullivan and I were the judges on the search for the new "Miss Red Hott." Eight courageous men dressed in evening wear, sleepwear, performed a talent, and answered questions onstage. They were auctioned off and raised a hefty load of money for the Foundation. To put it lightly, the night was full of laughs!
Sharing a few laughs with Senator Kate Sullivan.
One of the best parts of the night was getting to chat with Kate Sullivan. Turns out, we have a lot in common! She is a UNL Textile and Clothing Design and Journalism graduate and also got her masters at UNL; which is the same major as me and I also plan on getting my masters! She was so fun to chat with throughout the night. And last but not least, it was so much fun to be able to help the Foundation raise money, I mean who wouldn't want to judge men in evening gowns?! :-)