“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” –Margaret Mead

The formation of a thoughtful, committed group of empowered, young citizens begins today as the first young woman joins the Miss North Carolina Class of 2019.  As the season of local competitions opens this evening with the Miss Statesville Scholarship Competition, I am reminded of one of the Miss America Organization’s strongest characteristics; sisterhood.  I am as proud today as I was on June 23, 2018 to represent the Miss North Carolina Class of 2018 as my classmates are among the finest, most accomplished, and committed women I have known.  Each young woman in my class, as I am sure each young woman in the 2019 class will be, added to the rich and diverse character of the Miss North Carolina and Miss America Organization.  It is with great excitement that today in Statesville the 2019 Class begins to take shape.  It will be a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens who will, without question, in many ways small and large, change the world. We are agents of social change.  Let the Class of 2019 positively change our world!

On a very personal note, it is such an honor for me to be here in Statesville today with Alyssa Johnson, Miss Statesville 2018.  Alyssa and I began our Miss America experience together two years ago competing in our very first local competition together, the 2017 Miss Randolph County Scholarship Competition.  It was an instant sisterhood between us, one that evolved over two years of competing and serving together.  I was overjoyed to be present last year cheering her on when Alyssa was crowned to represent her hometown in the Miss North Carolina Scholarship Competition. Reflecting on two years of friendship with this remarkable, innovative, and purposeful woman, I am so proud of her.  Alyssa is everything Miss America stands for; I was blessed to experience her magic firsthand, as we were roommates at the 2018 Miss North Carolina Scholarship Competition. I cannot imagine going through the Miss North Carolina experience without her zen, humor, love, and support.  Alyssa was not my competition, she is my sister and friend.  The 2019 Miss North Carolina Class is coming together now…Alyssa, I am so proud to be your sister and I hold out much hope we will share the 2019 experience together again.  You are one of many young women capable and deserving of being a member of the 2019 Class.  The competition and sisterhood would not be the same without you!

I wish each of the eight young women competing this evening the best as they enjoy in the sisterhood of the Miss Statesville Scholarship Program; a 21-year strong sisterhood founded by the late, legendary Danny Davis.  Enrollment in your class starts today…I encourage all young women to place their name on the roster for 2019 and be a part of this thoughtful, committed citizenry.  We are Miss America…on all levels of competition…and we will change the world!