First and foremost I want to thank my family. My family has all teamed together to help me. From being my chauffers and car rental agents, to being my coaches and biggest supporters and bank.... I could not be here without you.
I want to thank the Miss America Organization for giving me the opportunity to fulfill one of my favorite sayings, "Life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself..." I have had the opportunity to push myself far beyond what I ever thought I was capable of, while helping myself to become the woman I imagined I would become as a young girl.
I have experienced an unending amount of love and support from my friends, and discovered how truly loved I am. I want to thank my friends for doing everything from making my shoes, listening to me sing again and again, and calming me down when I'm pushing myself too hard.
I am so grateful for my Miss Minneapolis/Miss Saint Paul team. I am so excited to see all of our hard work on that stage in two short weeks.
To the Call Me Mental film crew, thank you so much for helping me to spread my message nationally in a beautiful way. Your camera work, editing, and fight for change are truly inspiring.
I am beyond blessed to have received multiple letters of gratitude and thanksgiving from people who heard my message, and were either inspired to save themselves, or to save someone they loved. Your letters keep me inspired to work towards this cause every day.
I have pushed myself. Created myself. Overcome my fears. Win or lose, I have become Miss America and what she represents. For this opportunity in my life, and for all those who have helped me along the way, I am forever inspired, humbled, and gracious.
As an update, I have been busy continuing to spread my message of suicide prevention through education (I even traveled to Las Vegas to speak about my platform!), as well as promoting my documentary episode (the link can be found on the previous blog post), I graduated from the University of Minnesota (yay!), and have been training constantly for the role of Miss Minnesota.
Just over two weeks and the new Miss Minnesota will be crowned and given the opportunity to bring her platform and talent to Miss America - Can you imagine if this platform gets to go national? :)
Miss Minneapolis 2014