From L to R: Marina Montes, Miss Suffolk County, Me, and Courtney Sheridan, Miss Fulton County in Swimsuit
The week was great. Many thanks to all the local businesses who made our pageant such a success, and to Art Huntsinger, who served as a liason between the media, the Albany community, and the Miss NY Organization and contestants. Also, many thanks to the Miss NY Organization Board of Volunteers, for taking time out of your personal lives to give myself and the other contestants an experience of a lifetime. Also, a special thank you to Kent, who kept things fun and light, and encouraged us all to constantly improve ourselves, and to keep the pageant process in perspective.
The other 20 local titleholders are amazing. Truly. I don't really know how else to describe them. Our first night in Albany, we got the chance to go around the room and tell everyone what our platform was (good idea, Inga), and it was really inspiring to hear all of the different ways that we, as a group of young women, were changing the world around us. The platform is a very important aspect of the Miss America Organization, and one that's frequently discussed, but the opportunity to communicate face-to-face about the social issues we were dedicated to promoting, changing or improving, and why we cared so much, was a powerful thing.
My shock at being called to the Top 10 was visible, I've heard; and doubly so when I was called into the Top 5. Don't get me wrong- I knew I had the potential to do very well, but as I've told people before, pageants are incredibly subjective, and there were A LOT of perfectly viable choices for the judges. Not making it into finals (as was the case for me last year) is not so much a testament to your weaknesses as it is to the strengths of the girls you're competing with. I'm so honored to have gotten as far as I did, and I wish a very special congratulations to Alyse Zwick, Miss New York 2009. Make us proud!