Miss Vermont 2016, The Farewell

When I decided six years ago that I wanted to be on the Miss Vermont stage, and that I wanted to represent my home, I had no idea the challenges, and the absolute blessings that lay before me. I had no idea that I would meet my best friend because of Miss Vermont. Or get the chance to go to four new states. Or run two half marathons. Or land my dream jobs. All because of a program that asked me to reach out side of myself.


One of the stories I’ve told most this year, is how I came to the Miss Vermont Program. I was in college, and I had plateaued. Socially, I wasn’t branching out. Physically, I wasn’t doing any thing to help myself - I mean PopTarts were my favorite food. I wasn’t pushing myself academically, and I really wasn’t finding new challenges at all.

That summer I landed on the Miss Vermont stage for the first time. I had figured out a talent - although no one bothered to tell me not to write my own poetry that year. I had taken up running, and learned to love broccoli. And by the grace of God, and the kindness of the judges that year, I was 3rd runner up. I had shown them the girl that was willing to push herself for the sake of the little fire that had been sparked by the idea of serving this state.

Here I am, almost six years later, Miss Vermont 2016.




I don’t think I can explain how important this program has been to me, and to the person I am today. I would not have the skills that I have. That make me who I am. That make me confident, capable, vocal about things I care about, a servant to my community, and someone who’s heart just runs over for the people that live in Vermont. It’s so hard to explain how all of that created one of the most memorable years of my life. In some ways, it barely feels like a year, in other ways it feels like all six have just happened.

I always knew that this job, was a job. But what I did not expect, was to realize how much of an honor it is. It is not only an honor to get to go to golf tournaments, rotary meetings, hospital visits, and apple pie contests, and every thing in-between. But it is an honor to meet everyone there. It is an honor to get to be a voice for mental health. It is an honor to speak about my story to people in every corner of this state. And it is an honor to serve the girls that stand on this stage tonight.


The whole reason I even started to think about being Miss Vermont, is because I kept seeing girls in parades who looked like me, who looked like they came from, where I came from. I feel so lucky that I am able to share all that I have learned through the years, with these girls. The mentorship that happens because of this program is unlike anything else. It is an absolute blessing to have been able to watch them all come into their own - their own version of Miss Vermont.

I’ve stressed with them all year that this is a job above all else, it’s a blessing, an achievement, and an honor, but it is a job. I can’t thank everyone enough who has helped me be the best I can in this position.

There is no better example of it takes a village, than what takes to be Miss Vermont.


To every member of the board - Cookie, Mary Catherine, Barb, Tammy, Brittany, and Katie - your support has been unwavering. Your encouragement never fails, and you continue to create the backbone of this organization. You’ve given Alex and I a year like no other.

And Alex, I am so thankful I was able to watch you grow and push yourself this year in every part of your life. Thank you for your continuous support.

To all the volunteers, to every friend of the PTP workshops, every fundraising champion, every host backstage, every parent that has lent us their young woman - you allow us the opportunity to thrive, to grow, to make the Miss Vermont family - thank you.


To all the people that shaped my journey to Miss America and gave me the gift of knowing that I could be the last one standing.


To everyone that gave me dresses, knowledge, questions, earrings, and everything in between - Gregory, Rachel, Jayne, Jon and Chris - thank you.


To the people that allowed me the freedom to take the year to live this dream - and still signed my checks each week, thank you for giving me space to serve your state.


To all my former Miss Vermont, who never let me forget that they exist, and that they are always happy to help - Hannah, Amy, Sarah, Laura, Caroline, Katie, Lucy, Alayna - thank you.

Jeanelle - thank you for going before me, and making some mistakes so that I could make new ones. Thank you for always responding to my text messages, even when they’re late, or way too early. And often very frantic. Thank you for being my sister and my very best friend.


Thank you to every friend outside of pageant world, who understood, who accommodated, who said, “let me help.” Tori, Alice, Jess, Maia, Alanah - anyone that supported me, that sent an encouraging word, you have lifted my soul for years to come.

To my family - to the people who never laughed when I wanted to be Miss Vermont, but kept me laughing all year long. Who kept my fridge stocked, and my gas tank full. Who drove the long miles when I couldn’t any more. Who made sure, I always felt like I was capable and prepared to do this job. And to Ben, for telling everyone he was Miss Vermont’s brother.

If you were here on May 27th, or you’ve seen me anywhere since then, you’ve made a difference in my journey as Miss Vermont - a difference in my life that has allowed me to go out and live a dream of trying to make a difference for someone else.

I will never be able to repay every one for what they helped me do this year - and thank you will never be enough.


Above all, I hope that whoever fills these shoes tonight, knows that for every struggle this job will bring, through every challenge that you will face - there are far, far more, accomplishments, far more better days. Because you get to tell your story, and hear every story this state has to tell.

And I hope - that if this dream is in your heart of hearts - that you don’t stop. No matter what happens for you here tonight. Don’t stop if you have a bad poem, don’t stop if people laughed at you, don’t stop if you think you’ve gained weight, don’t stop. Because if you are dreaming that you will serve your state, you are a person that we need. You are a person that will make a difference. You a person that deserves to be out there on the road, telling your story.

Don’t stop telling your story.

1 comment

  1. Well said, as always. You had an amazing year, and am honored that you chose to visit! Congrats!

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