“Every new beginning comes from some other new beginnings end.”

I am writing to you, my adoring fans and loved ones, with tears in my eyes. This is my last blog post as Miss North Carolina. To say that I am sad is an understatement, but it would also be an understatement to say that I’m excited. I cannot wait to spend the whole week with my favorite people, celebrating a fabulous year, one that I worked very hard to get. I am also so very excited to watch as I crown the next queen of the Tarheel State, and to follow her journey to hopefully bring the Miss America crown back to NC!

It will be a week full of appearances, interviews, rehearsals, and hair and makeup but I know mostly it will be a week of fun that I will witness with an overflowing heart. I would like to take this time now to thank EVERYONE who played any part, big or small, in getting me to this special point in my life. The Dunn committee and the citizens of my amazing hometown, my family, the incredible “Team Kate,” my girlfriends from Meredith, my Carolina princess and her family, Kenzie and the Hansleys, the entire Miss NC board and all of our amazing volunteers, and every single one of you reading this that has kept up with my year. Thank you for being a part of the most incredible roller coaster ride I could have ever gone on. I would also like to thank all of my sponsors and scholarship donors that make Miss North Carolina possible each year. You each have been such a blessing to me.

It’s so crazy to think that last year on this exact day I was sitting in my dorm room at peace looking over my interview binder, anxious for my 10 minutes with the judges the next morning. I fell asleep with the lights on and my binder in my lap. I had nerves, of course, who wouldn’t? But I was so confident and happy and ready. I knew I was called for this job and I had so much in my little heart to offer to this state. Looking back now it’s so crazy to me that I was the girl destined for these 365 days of pure bliss. It is a job and there have been days where I wanted to pull the covers back over my head and just go back to sleep, but there aren’t enough positive words to describe how much this year has meant to me. I have matured so much, realized the value of hard work and community service, and made so many lifelong friendships that I find myself wondering how in the world I survived without these people for so long before! It has been so unforgettable and if I could start over and go right back to the moment when I heard Kirsten Elrod say, “and your new Miss North Carolina is MISS DUNN, KATE PEACOCK!” I would in a heartbeat. But I know I can’t. It’s someone else’s turn. But because of this amazing year and the opportunities I have been afforded, I am more than ready to take on the next chapter of my life.

Sam Haskell told us something that I will never forget at our first contestant meeting for Miss America. He said “The Miss America Organization is meant to be a launching pad for women.” No words have ever impacted me more. That’s when I realized that this isn’t your whole life; it simply prepares you for a very successful life. This year in this organization has prepared me with not only scholarship funds to return to Meredith in the fall to obtain my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and my k-6 Teaching License, but also it gave me the networking skills needed to obtain a part time job as an assistant to a very successful real estate agent in Raleigh.  I now know how much giving back to others and volunteerism benefits my community and how important it is. I know how to stand up for myself and my beliefs while not offending others. I know how important it is to stay informed about what’s going on in the world around me. I learned about kindness, and passion, and drive, and sisterhood. I’ve never been more appreciative of anything in my whole life than I am for this organization and the fact that it is launching me into a life I only dreamed of living.

If I could offer one piece of advice to the contestants competing for my title next week, regardless of how cliché this may sound, it would be to be yourself. You can fake something for a 10-minute interview, but this is a yearlong job and in order to be happy and fully accept all of the wonderful advantages that it comes with, you must be yourself and be confident in that. Wear the pieces YOU like, dance to the music YOU want to, and don’t let anyone or anything get in your way of the vision of the crown being placed on your head Saturday night. As Kira Kazantsev told us as Miss America,  “Be you and let it rip!”

I hope you all will come to Raleigh next week to see fame crowned. I promise it will be a show you don’t want to miss! Thank you for all of your support and love and light. I have felt it every step of the way and it has empowered me more than you will ever know. As my beginning is ending so very fast, I am starting a new chapter and I am blessed to place the crown on another very deserving young woman as her new chapter begins.

The pleasure has been all mine, North Carolina.

Forever yours,

Kate Peacock

Miss North Carolina 2015