There are definite benefits for being involved with the Miss USA/Miss Universe Organization. Who knew that meeting a Marley would be one of them?
We were so excited and honored to have been asked to judge Miss New York USA and Miss New York Teen USA! How cool was that?? After working as pageant photographers for years, being in on the actual selection process of the girls that we would be photographing was thrilling!
Between the Miss and Teen contestants, there were over 220 girls competing for the title! Wow!! We had a fantastic panel of judges joining us to help narrow the field, including a doctor, an owner of a cosmetics company, a New York City police officer, a talent manager, and yes, Bob Marley's son Rohan (CEO of Marley Coffee).
Forget what you've heard about pageant girls not being bright. We were blown away, truly. We interviewed contestants in medical school, practicing attorneys, and advertising executives. One girl was literally the brain behind AT&T's commercials with the kids sitting around the table discussing which was better-faster or slower. And the teen contestants were no less impressive. Many had graduated high school early, or were graduating with college credits. Some attended performing arts schools. We had a dancer with the American Ballet Theater, a performer from broadway shows, and a girl who set up a youth retreat for disadvantaged children. If there was a way for these women to excel, they did it.
And at the end we were standing next to two of the most beautiful, outstanding young women that New York had ever seen. Thank you to Candace Kendall and Corrin Stellakis for taking a chance, putting yourself out there, and, I'm sure, representing New York in a way that will make them proud!
It was a stressful, nerve wracking, and a heart pounding experience from start to finish. Now..Did we have fun along the way??
Absolutely. An absolute BLAST!
Alex Boye was the performer for the weekend, and he killed it! We had fantastic dinners with wonderful company and great conversation. And the best part?? Rohan promised everyone would get a box of Marley Coffee. And he followed through with his promise. And the coffee is AMAZING...