A group of people, two in particular, are heavily on my mind today as the hours draw shorter and shorter to a very special anniversary for me.  Tonight, I have the distinct privilege of serving as the Mistress of Ceremonies for the 2019 Miss Randolph County Scholarship and Outstanding Teen Competitions. My mind takes me back to the night of October 22, 2016 when I became an honorary member of the Kiwanis Club of Asheboro under the director of Jenny Parks and Amanda Varner as Miss Randolph County 2017.

Since being crowned Miss North Carolina, this appearance is the one I have most anxiously awaited.  Randolph County is a very special homecoming for me as I would confidently say Jenny, Amanda, Jessica, the Kiwanis, and the community are among those most directly responsible for me achieving this goal.  The support of these two women as well as the members of Kiwanis made a lasting impression on me…one that will never be forgotten and never not be a part of the woman I am today.  Never, not even for a second, did I doubt or question their belief in me.  From the moment my name was announced Miss Randolph County 2017 I became a part of their families and a recipient of their endless support, love, and faith in mankind.  As this organization is based on women’s empowerment, these two women, in uncommon ways, have unmistakably mastered what it means to make a young a woman feel anything she dreams is possible.  Grateful is far too weak a word to express how appreciative I am for their unconditional support.

I cannot wait to be back in Asheboro tonight with the eight candidates for the titles of Miss Randolph County and Miss Randolph County’s Outstanding Teen 2019.  Two of these young women have no idea just how enriched their lives will be over the course of the year to follow.  They are very fortunate as are all who participate in this event that collectively represents the best efforts of an entire community.  I am excited to see which two will become members of the Miss Randolph County family.  My days in Randolph County, shared with my Outstanding Teen, Delaney McKaughn, were among the best of life.

I am further looking forward to a great celebration of accomplishment…one where a very community-oriented and service-minded young woman relinquishes this opportunity to another just as I did last October.  I am very proud of the young woman I crowned Miss Randolph County last October, Shyquel Allison.  Throughout this year I have been continuously amazed by how she gave of her time and self to the community spending time with underserved young people sharing with them positive messages about how they too can achieve great things.  A year ago on this very special night I was honored to pass along the Miss Randolph County crown to a young woman who took full ownership of it and used its celebrity to inspire others.  Congratulations Shyquel on a year of dedicated and measurable service to others.  I am honored to be a part of this family…to always have you as a sister both in the Randolph County and North Carolina families.

Asheboro…I will be home tonight!  I am coming to see you all and cannot wait to be among the magic and loving spirit that is Randolph County.  I represent 100 counties, but this one in particular wraps my heart is warmth each and every time I visit as it is home to some of our state’s most special people.  Good luck to all competing, those moving on, the Kiwanis, the community, and especially my forever sisters in service and women’s empowerment, Jenny Parks and Amanda Varner.