“Something Special”


“If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day.  That’s a heck of a day.  You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”

— Jimmy Valvano


It’s safe to say that the late Jimmy Valvano would agree with me when I say my Miss New York week was “something special.” I laughed. I thought. I cried. Every day.

Three things my fellow contestants learned about me this past week:

  1. Coffee is of the utmost importance to me.
  2. My tear ducts could flood the Sahara.
  3. I love a good selfie.

Suffice it to say, I am an incredibly emotional and sentimental person…throw me in a hotel with 20 other incredible young women for a week and all bets are off. Rest assured these were never tears of sadness. It is an overwhelmingly exciting, fulfilling and exhausting week! One night at dinner, Kira Kazantsev (your Miss New York 2014 – excuse the name-dropping!) and I went from laughing hysterically, to crying (Thanks, Celine Dion), to laughing again.  Okay, as I type that we sound a little crazy, and maybe we are. Bottom line is, competing in the Miss America Organization is a bonding experience like no other.

Yes, all of us are actually supportive and friendly backstage. One moment in particular that I won’t forget: I was on the verge of a wardrobe malfunction backstage just MOMENTS before I needed to perform my talent after making the Top Ten.  Without any hesitation, Miss Syracuse, Adrienne Wilson, came to my rescue and helped make sure I was able to get onstage and sing at the top of my lungs. (Sorry, had to!)

One of my favorite photos from this weekend was the #OscarSelfie I was adamant that the Top Ten take after our official photo had been taken.



I think it is evident that we all had the time of our lives! Every single contestant made Miss New York Week 2014, “something special.”

The Jimmy Valvano quote above comes from his speech at the 1993 ESPY Awards. This is an 11 minute video that will change your life and how you lead it.  I find myself turning back to it so often. So I’ll leave you with a few other wise words from Jimmy V that I live by:

“Don’t Give Up. Don’t Ever Give Up.”