Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Jr Miss Experience

Okay, time to talk about Junior Miss (now called Distinguished Young Women)!  Lets just say that I absolutely love this program, and that may be an understatement :)  It is a scholarship program (yes, I know that sounds cliche) for girls going into their Senior year of High School.  My mom has been involved in the program for over 15 years, most of those years she was the judges chairman for Highland.  I have been around it FOREVER and always dreamed of when I would get to do the pageant.  My year finally came and I LOVED it!  I won my local pageant, along with two other girls, and we moved on to the State program. I seriously can't say how much I learned about myself while participating in Junior Miss.  I made so many amazing friends, one of them became one of my best friends ever and we roomed together at Utah State (Hi, Kaylee!), and I gained so much more confidence and poise than I ever had before.

Since the year I was a contestant I have been involved every single year but one.  I was the choreographer for the Highland program four times.  I choreographed the opening number, the fitness routine, and the poise segment.  I loved working with the girls and using my talents.  The year I was pregnant I was a judge and really enjoyed seeing it from the other side.  This year, since I live in Naperville I haven't been participating and I really missed it!

I have been trying to talk Sophie into doing Junior Miss since her Freshman year :)  I just knew she would do so well in it.  The scoring breaks down like this: Interview 25%, Scholastic 20%, Talent 25%, Fitness 15%, Poise 15%.  Sophie has great grades, an AMAZING interview and a beautiful talent.  I am so glad she decided to do it!  I feel like I was living vicariously through her the last few weeks :)  I even planned my Utah trip around the pageant so I could be there!  I got to be her backstage mom and help her with her hair and makeup but we also did TONS more in the days leading up to the actual dress rehearsal and pageant.  We went shoe, jewelry and make up shopping, we had a mock interview, we had my mom come out and teach us the best way to apply stage makeup, we worked on her Be Your Best Self Board, worked on her on stage question, and we practiced her fitness routine and poise walk multiple times. Now don't get me wrong, Sophie was already ready for this pageant, but we still wanted to practice, practice, practice!

She was so prepared by the time we hit the dress rehearsal day and it was so fun to just sit back and relax and enjoy her.  These first few pictures are of her during dress rehearsal.  I'm so glad we did a dress rehearsal, Sophie did great and didn't need to fix anything, but luckily I was able to see things I needed to change on my end (like add more lipstick, make her hair curlier, etc).

This is the Opening Number where they introduce themselves to the judges and audience. Sophie is contestant #1.

This is her practicing her fitness during dress rehearsal

Practicing her harp piece during dress rehearsal. Don't you just love her dress?!


Then came the big night!  I don't think we could have been more prepared!

Poise dress, I'm so in love with this dress too! Oh, and look at those amazing shoes!

Something that made the night even more fun was that my good friend Gabe, who is a past Highland's Junior Miss winner and the current Director of the Highland pageant, was the backstage mom for another girl!  I was so excited to spend that time with her.  The best part is that both of our girls ended up winning!  I don't think we could have been more proud.  We felt like their mommies in that moment!

Sophie and I after the competing part was over and we were waiting for the results

The girls waiting backstage for the results

Then, the moment came!  They called all the girls back on stage and Gabe and I went to hide in the wings and watch. Alpine's program is very fortunate and gets a lot of financial backing from sponsors so they were able to give out awards for the top 3 girls in EVERY SINGLE category!  Thats unheard of!  When I was in Highland's program they gave a scholarship to the one top winner in each category and then to the top 3 girls overall and we went to State.  Anyway,  Sophie won a smaller cash scholarship as one of the top 3 in 3 of the 5 categories!  She won Talent, Interview, and Poise.  Seriously Gabe and I were hyperventilating backstage!  Her cute girl, Rosie, also won in 3 of the 5 categories!  Then, the big moment came, Sophie was named a winner!  AH!  Gabe and I were SCREAMING backstage and got shushed by the Director :)  Whoops!  We ran on stage and gave our girls hugs and we were all bawling.  I am SO proud of Sophie! She worked so hard and is such a talented girl!  All in all, she won $1850 in scholarship money to the school of her choice!  I am DYING that I can't go to the State program.  The twins will have just been born when she goes :(  Congrats Soph!

The winners of Alpine's Distinguished Young Women: Rosie,  Sophie and McKenna

The best part was that these three were really close throughout the whole process. I'm so glad she will have great girls to go to State with!

The proud mommy ;)

Sophie and Rosie with their real moms and stage moms :)

The girls with their moms

All 3 winners with their moms

Penny, Sophie and Fred

Me, Sophie and Rick

Sophie with her parents and Rick and I

My mom came out for the pageant and she was equally proud of her!

The cute winner!

So hot! :)

And just to wander down memory lane....Here is my Junior Miss experience.  This is when I won locals with Katie Millar and Melissa Elmer

And this is me competing at State:

I loved Jr Miss!  I am so grateful for the friends I made, the growth that happened personally, and the awesome scholarship money I got for college!

Good Luck at State Soph!


Penny said...

Kori, you were the perfect, "Back Stage Mom!" Thanks so much for all you did. Love the post!

sophie1994 said...

Kori! This is so cute! You'll have to email me all the pictures! I couldn't have had a better experience--thank you soooooo much!!! Love ya!

Kade and Kaylee said...

Oh those pics of you took me way back! Aww I miss those days! I have thought several times how lucky I was to have met you through the pageant! We had such a blast together! By the way, I just found Libby on Facebook! And she lives 40 min away from me! How ironic huh! Missing you like crazy now! :)

Karen Pedersen said...

LOVED this post! I'm so proud of Sophie. Seeing your Jr. Miss pics took me down memory lane and brought tears to my eyes!

Liz Smith said...

i just kept thinking of miss congeniality when i read this. haha!'re so dang cute! i love that you got to be a backstage mom. i'm sure she loved the support. and those pics of when you won?! GORGEOUS! seriously, you are adorable!