I believe in Miss America.
I believe in my local directors who loved me and supported me from the very beginning.
I believe in my state team who has empowered me to do things I never imagined.
I believe in the first Miss America I watched crowned. Mallory Hagan.
I believe in my sisters, from the local, state, and national level.
I believe in the millions of children served by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and the millions of dollars Miss America contestants have raised on their behalf.
I believe in the incredible things I see contestants doing all across the country.
I believe in the four points of the crown. Style, Success, Scholarship, and Service.
All four are important, but today I especially believe in Style.
Some think style is referring to the beautiful evening gowns, the sassy cocktail dresses, and the trendy looks Miss America wears on the red carpet. But style is so much more.
Style is the class held by our Miss Americas, and many contestants across the nation in the wake of the recent news. Style is watching my Miss America, Cara Mund step into the spotlight with such dignity and strength. Style is watching former Miss Americas continue to encourage women to join the organization and not let the acts of some in leadership roles define us.
Miss America is so much more than inappropriate emails and opinions communicated by MAO leadership. I believe in this organization because of the woman I am today. I believe in this organization because of the sisterhood it has given me. I am so fortunate to be a part of the Miss Kansas legacy. A legacy full of empowered women, empowering others. We are Miss America, and we will not let leadership, words, or misfortunes define us. We are women capable of many things, and the world caught a glimpse of that today.
Today, we taught women all over America just how valuable they are. We taught them that they deserve more, and that degrading women is not something the Miss America Organization stands for. We taught women that their voices can be heard, and will be heard. We taught women that they have the power to empower others and overcome trials with class.
I believe in the Miss America Organization, nothing changes that.