The first major announcement during Pageant Week are the Quality of Life Finalists. Honestly, Miss America could use a lesson in branding with this award… Quality of Life always makes me think of ‘old people’ in a hospital or nursing home somewhere. It doesn’t accurately reflect the countless hours of community service these girls perform when they win their titles. Truly, they could call it the “Golden Service Award” or the “Community Action Award” or something… Perhaps they’re simply waiting on a sponsor (lol).
In any event – here are the eight finalists and their personal platform issues:
Miss Arkansas Kristen Glover – Second Chances Through Mentoring
Miss Hawaii Lauren Cheape – C.A.R.E., Collegiate Athletes Reaching Everyone
Miss Kentucky Ann Blair Thornton – Alzheimer’s Awareness and Research
Miss Michigan Elizabeth Wertenberger – Continue to Dream, Giving Hope to Children with Chronic Illness
Miss Minnesota Natalie Davis – Autism Awareness: The Missing Piece
Miss New Hampshire Regan Hartley – Bullying Awareness in Our Community
Miss New York Kaitlin Monte – Anti-Bullying Through Youth Leadership
Miss Ohio Ellen Bryan – Promoting Lightning Awareness, “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors”
Did anyone else notice this was announced in alphabetical order? Wonder if you’re able to connect those dots when you’re standing on stage? Might want to ‘mix it up’ next time to keep everyone on their toes!
In case you’re a Newbie, here’s a little more about the Quality of Life Awards from the Miss America Press Release…
The Quality of Life Awards were introduced in 1988 to recognize contestants who excel in their commitment to community service. In order to be considered for the Quality of Life Award, contestants must submit an application describing their involvement with Children’s Miracle Network, the national platform of the Miss America Organization, and their own personal platform issue.
The winner of the Quality of Life Award will receive a $6,000 scholarship, the first runner-up will win a $4,000 scholarship, and the second runner-up will win a $2,000 scholarship. Winners will be announced at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on January 14 during the 3 p.m. (PST) press conference.
While the Quality of Life Award TECHNICALLY has nothing to do with how you finish as a competitor (you don’t get any ‘points’ for being a finalist or a winner of the QoL) it does tell you which contestants have compelling stories to share during their personal interview with the judges. Plus, there’s some really good topics this year! Ohio’s Lightening Awareness is the first of it’s kind at Miss America (her sister was struck by lightening and is now disabled), and Bullying from New Hampshire and New York is a perfect fit given all the national media attention it’s getting. Something else these finalists all have in common, they’re basically ‘lived’ their platform issue. Michigan has survived a chronic childhood disease… Hawaii was a collegiate athlete… Kentucky’s grandfather struggled with Alzheimer’s… etc, etc. Again, it has no bearing on whether or not they’ll make it into the Top 15, but they’ve already got a leg-up when it comes to communicating an emotional story about how they’ve served their state so far.
Plus, don’t they all look beautiful in their clothing from Express? I appreciate how they all have Red, White and Blue as the ‘pop’ of color (along with Black and White). Based on initial photos, I didn’t see any fashion-faux-pas… but the week is still young 🙂
Stay Tuned… We’re just getting started! 🙂