The past few weeks have been extremely busy! I have had very little off-days between appearances, photo shoots, sponsor visits, travel days, etc. The adrenaline has most definitely kicked in during the appearances I’ve had in this new year, and I’ve been loving every single one of them! Preliminary pageants are always a joy to attend, and I got a rush of excitement when a new beautiful soul was added to our Miss North Carolina Class of 2017! I feel more than confident in passing this prestigious title to one of the 44 distinguished young women! They are all so kind and caring of one another and serve their communities to the fullest extent. I’m so proud of the service, intelligence, beauty, graciousness, and dedication they all have.

My recent appearances have been nothing short of amazing! Since the beginning of February, I’ve been back and forth to 23 cities/towns, on WBTV News with Miss Charlotte, attended and/or judged 8 pageants, had 8 school visits talking to kindergarten-8th grade and a High School theater cast, taught 3 master classes, and performed 9 times. I was thrilled to be invited to “A Night To Shine Prom” that the Tim Tebow Foundation held at Elevation Church in Charlotte, and that was truly a night I will never forget. I had the BEST Valentine’s Day yet at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, one of NC’s CMN Hospitals, and spent the day with little miss Katie Webb and her sweet mother on air at Seacrest Studios. The week I spent in Asheville with the Miss Asheville/Blue Ridge Valley/Hendersonville directors, Jon Vance and Jeff Jones, was one of the best weeks I have had since being crowned! They had my schedule booked tight, and I was more than excited to be a busy bee on the go! When I spent the week with them in Cherokee back in October, I shared with them what  #MasterClasseswithMcKenzie was all about, and to my surprise, they had three classes arranged during the week! Between the multiple schools I visited each day and the master classes I taught, I spread the message of #theSAFEproject throughout the western side of the state. It was heartwarming to have so many students talk with me after my speech and reach out to me post visit because it reminds me that if even one kid hears my message, my job is fulfilled. Mrs. Rosie McCoy never ceases to amaze me! She had an incredible day in Cherokee lined up for us. The people in Cherokee are so embracing of our organization, and I’m thankful not only for the one-of-a-kind gifts I received, but also for the friendships and memories I will forever cherish with them. I loved spending time with their pageant family and friends because they really brought me in close and made me feel like I was apart of it. I call myself the adopted child! I would really like to thank their committee, as well as the Miss Charlotte/Mecklenburg County/Belmont, Miss Statesville, Miss Rowan County, and Miss Garner committees for including me in their families this past month and spending a significant amount of time with me. It means so much more than words!

I have utilized many sponsors throughout the month! To Southern Bride, All Occasions Bridal, Biltmore Bride, Pixton Design Group, Cousin Couture, Ken Tart, Suzanne Brewer Photography and Ashley Tart Artistry, Dunn-Benson Ford and Motorsports, MHR Designs, Melinda Crews, and Angela Rabon: Thank you for your dedication to the Miss North Carolina Organization and for always being more than generous and kind to me each time I visit! Also, a big Happy Birthday shout out to Cousin Couture!!!

Throughout my years of competing for Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen and Miss North Carolina, I have continued to make an effort to be extremely transparent and show others my genuine self. However, while portraying my real self by not wearing a mask nor fitting into a “mold,” it makes criticism and words hit a little harder because it directly stabs you in the heart. I’m going to be honest with you all and tell you that February and March have been busy days and long weeks, but also a bit more difficult to get through because I truly am doing all that I can to serve North Carolina and be a light in our youth as a Miss America spokesperson. I would not be as strong as I am through this if it wasn’t for the Miss North Carolina state committee, my family, and my closest circle of (dance, pageant, and personal) friends. It has been tough, but they have been both “Support” and “Evolve” for me and I can’t say thank you to them enough. I love you all to the moon.

I’m in shock that March 16 marked 100 days until the next Miss North Carolina is crowned!! Stay tuned for more #MissNC updates in the #RacetotheCrown by following my Facebook page, Instagram, and Twitter accounts! Until next time…

God Bless, McKenzie Jade Faggart

“Your 79th Queen of the Tarheel State” – Lane Ragsdale