Friday, October 24, 2008

updates from the road

My voter registration drive has been very successful! The most rewarding part is I get the feeling that some of the voters I am registering were not going to vote on November 4th. After the conversations we have had...they will!

My most memorable story from the last two weeks however did not come from one of the high school or college campuses I visited. It came from a nursing home I visited last week. I was asked to go to Morrisville and perform for the residents. I sang some of my favorites and some of theirs. After singing, we had a question and answer time. The residents asked me many questions and one asked me about my platform. When I spoke about "Your Vote is Your Voice" and shared with them my travels registering voters I could not help but notice one woman's eyes swell up with tears. After the Q and A session, while I was signing autographs, that very elderly woman with tears in her eyes wheeled her wheelchair over to me, hugged me, and said "I remember when women could not vote. I have cast a ballot every time I could and plan on doing it again November 4th. Thank you for doing what you are doing." I have thought about that woman a lot during my travels this week. Her name was Ruth and I won't forget her.

As great as my travels have been since returning from LA, I am looking forward to having some time to prepare for Miss America. Sometimes I get so caught up in having a presence in the state I forget that in only 95 days I will be on stage at Miss America. As I move forward I pray for patience and guidance to be able to balance being the best Miss Vermont I can be while striving to walk off that Planet Hollywood stage as Miss America 2009.

With Love,

Monday, October 13, 2008

Your Vote is Your Voice

It is hard to believe 5 1/2 months have passed since I was crowned Miss Vermont 2008! What an incredible experience. The people, opportunities, memories, personal, and professional development of these experiences will be with me for a lifetime.

The last three weeks were spent in Los Angeles for the filming of TLC's Countdown to the Crown. There is not much I can say about the show but I can tell you that it will air on TLC in January and that I am grateful for having three weeks to form incredible bonds and friendships with some of this nation's most articulate, talented, and decorated young women.

Now I am back in VT and and it is time to hit the ground not just running but full out sprinting. Tomorrow starts my voter registration drive. There are 21 days until the election and I plan to register as many voters as I can between now and then. Young voters make up 21% of the eligible voting population. That is a political force to recon with! No candidate can ignore the issues young people face today.

Check the "appearance" page of to track my steps. I will visit two high schools and six colleges in ten days registering voters. But my quest towards a more politically active state does not end with voter registration or with 18-29 year olds. I will also be visiting elementary schools to teach younger students about the importance of political action. The Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee of the 1960's started with 4 young people hungry for change. The SNCC subsequently coordinated sit-ins, freedom rides, and non-violent marches that shaped a political era. I am excited about bringing this message to younger students because it is important for us all to remember that political involvement does not begin or end by casting a ballot. Voting is one very important tool for participating in this democracy but there are many ways to get your voice heard.

The vision of a few determined women started the movement in Seneca Falls, New york, 1848, that resulted in my right to cast a ballot. When I cast my ballot in November I will cast it remembering the fight of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her sisters in justice.

I hope you will all join me in voting!

All My Best,
Your Miss Vermont