We had a blast co-hosting a camp for the titleholders from New York USA and Maryland USA! Together with Michelle Holmes, owner of Prepare to Win and Hernan Rivera, owner of Sin Cosmetics, we hosted a non-stop weekend of fantastic pageant prep! The titleholders participated in mock interviews, had lessons in stage presence and got awesome makeup tutorials. In between, they had tons of photos taken!
Its always eye opening hearing personal stories. Some of these girls endured years of heartache, financial struggles, family problems. One even withstanding a mother's death. Their personal histories all have this incredible connected thread, though. One of perseverance, dedication, hard work, and a positive attitude. I felt like each one of these women were someone I wished I had time to get to know better. They are amazing.
My favorite moment was definitely Mame's interview time. I hate to single one girl out. I loved them all. But watching someone right before your eyes open up and speak with such passion...I have to give her extra props.
We were conducting mock interviews with Mame, Miss Maryland USA 2015. At one point, one of us asked her about the Black Lives Matter movement. She answered in a very politically correct way, so as not to offend anyone. It was a nice answer. Then, Adam asked her to leave the room and come in again for a do-over. And this time come in as Mame. Not a middle-of-the-road pageant girl. As Mame Adjei.
He asked her again, her thoughts on the BLM movement. Her eyes lit up, she stood up straight and tall, she spoke with passion and emotion. It wouldn't have mattered if we liked her spin on the situation in Ferguson or not. She spoke from the heart, with conviction and intensity. Not in a mean or bitter way. But from very personal experiences with racism in America.
At that moment we knew that she was ready to take the Miss USA stage. She completely embodied the Miss Universe slogan: