ND Pageantry Providing Perspective

By: Miss ND's Outstanding Teen 2015

Many people hear that North Dakota is the land of polar bears, eskimos, woodchoppers, and ridiculous accents. Although most do not associate pageantry with North Dakota, it has been building a strong reputation through its pageant systems! How does this happen? It’s simple! North Dakota nice. The thing about pageantry in North Dakota is that all the former titleholders join together to prepare the next title holder for her year of service as well as the national competition.

I never had any interest in the promotion of North Dakota, but wanted to speak about my platform and volunteer across the state. Within two weeks of being crowned Miss North Dakota’s Outstanding Teen 2015, and getting a good strong dose of North Dakota nice, I realized promoting my state is a large priority. When I use the words “North Dakota nice” I mean EXACTLY that. Past titleholders offered me their entire wardrobes, North Dakota business owners mock interviewed me, and whenever I found myself lacking morale, I was fortunate enough to have a large group of people around to give me advice. I vividly remember being at the national Miss America’s Outstanding Teen competition, walking into the visitation room, and seeing a whole pack of good ol’ Nodak people who made the trip to show their support! That in itself, was worth more than a billion crowns to me.

While I didn’t win my national pageant, recent titleholders came very close! Abby Wolfe, Miss ND’s OTeen 2013, Raghen Lucy, Miss ND’s OTeen 2014, Jacky Arness, Miss ND 2014, where all in the top 10 at their national competitions. Hopefully, I will be able to add another name to that list as the date of Miss America 2016 soon approaches. That name would be Delanie Wiedrich, Miss ND 2015. Delanie borrowed 90% of her Miss America wardrobe from people across the state. Another example of how the amount of support from North Dakota never ceases to amaze me! Despite the fact that my path will lead me away from this “legendary” state, I will be forever grateful for growing up as a North Dakotan. And if I ever choose to have a family of my own, they will be raised in North Dakota as well.

“Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and a place you grow old wanting to return.”
-John Ed Pearce