27 December 2010
As promised to the contestants, here is this year's music choices! Opening number: Telephone by Lady Gaga; swimsuit: Could it be You by H*wood; evening wear: Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars; and for the finale: Move Like You Gonna Die. So what do you think? I'm very happy with our choices and the contestants seemed to be excited about it as well. I also have the walking patterns all set for the show. We also have some great talent that will be performing at the 40th anniversary show, including the current Miss New York, Claire Buffie! I will also be performing two dances at the show, which I am looking forward to. We have also invited all former Miss Fulton Counties to the show, and it sounds like the great majority of them will be able to make it!
I believe that is all of the Miss Fulton County news I have for now! Stay up-to-date with everything MFC by not only following this blog, but also by checking the Miss Fulton County website and the MFC Facebook page!
24 December 2010
Getting back to Christmas...This is an amazing season, and a great time to remember that we are not the only people in this world. I found this great article that reminds us all that this season is an great time to help others. Click here to read it! Please take the time to read this article and take what it says to heart. As I have started whenever promoting my platform, you do not have to do a great project in order to make a difference; it is the little things that we do each day that make a difference to those around us. Offer to help that elderly lady struggling with her groceries. Check in on a neighbor that you know does not have a lot family to visit on the holidays. Help your neighbors clear off the snow. It is these little things that we take for granted that truly make a difference to those around us. Just the other day an elderly lady dropped her receipt, and I picked it up for her. I will not forget the look of sincere gratitude as she thanked me for doing such a small action. We should help those around us, and take the focus off of ourselves for once. Please take this message to heart, and apply it all of the time rather than just during the holiday season.
On another note, we are planning out this years pageant! YAY! I have started working on walking patterns, we are finishing picking out music, and I have started working on my dances! I am so excited! This year's pageant is going to be absolutely amazing, and everyone should come check it out if they can! Aaron is always amazing at planning out the pageant, and I am sure he will out-do himself this year! We have a great group of contestants, and any one of them would be a great representative for Fulton County. I cannot wait to see who I am crowning this year!
I know I said that I would post a picture of me in my crown with my SOAR class, but of course I left my USB cable in my dorm room...so that will have to wait until I return to Elmira January 10th.
I wish all of you a merry Christmas and a very happy new year!
16 December 2010
11 November 2010
This past month has been really busy for me. I volunteer every Thursday with the SOAR program, and it is so much fun! Alice and I get to help the children with their spelling words and their reading. Last week we even got to help with math a little bit! They are great to work with and their teacher is amazing; you can see that he truly cares about them learning and understanding the material he gives them. We've also been busy at practice. We have almost half of our nationals routine done! So exciting! The team is doing so well this year and I cannot wait to put the rest of the routine together! Tonight is a big night for the team because it is Hoops Hysteria at Elmira College. Hoops Hysteria is equivalent to a pep rally to kick off the start of the basketball season. The men's and women's basketball teams do short scrimmages against each other, Dance-line performs, and all three cheerleading teams (JV, Game, and Competition) perform routines. This is the first time many students will see us perform together as a team this year, so it has to be a perfect performance.
Aside from the school activities that I have been doing, I also found a day to go home and to make an appearance. Yes, a day; actually, less than 24 hours. Last weekend the city of Gloversville had a Veterans Day Parade, so since our practice for saturday was cancelled, I was able to drive home to attend. It was chilly, of course, but it was a great parade. A lot of people came out to watch it. I also rode with this year's contestants for Miss Fulton County. There are 8 young women competing for the title, and I was able to have some time with all of them. There are 6 veterans and 2 new contestants. It was great to see everyone that I knew again, but it was also nice to meet the new contestants that I did not know as well. Each one is a great candidate for Miss Fulton County, and I cannot wait to see the outcome of the pageant this year!
After the parade, I stopped into my old dance studio to say hi to my dance teacher, Sue Dygon, whom I have known for many years since she started teaching me when I was around 3 years old! It was great to catch up with her for a little while. During my visit, she told me that in a couple hours a dance instructor from Saratoga was coming to teach a traditional ballet course and that I should come back to take the class. I, of course, did since I miss taking dance classes all of the time. That dance instructor whipped me right into shape! I had not taken a formal dance class in 4 years, since I had graduated and gone to Elmira College. I did not realize how much I truly missed taking classes until I attended this class. It was great! We worked on technique A LOT, which I definitely needed. It was a lot of barre work and then we did across the floor work, but it was amazing. I hope that I am able to take the class again when I am home during breaks!
After the class, I was only home for a couple more hours since I had to drive back to Elmira that night. My team hosted the Elmira Fall Cheer Classic the next day, and I had to be there at 8:30am, so I did not feel like waking up super early to drive back. I hosted the cheer competition as Miss Fulton County, which was a lot of fun. A lot of younger girls attend this cheer competition, so they loved seeing me in my crown and were asking me many questions on how I became a "princess." It was very cute, and I loved it. The team also did an exhibition of our Hoops Hysteria routine, and my standing tuck was solid, which I was incredibly happy about. The only thing that was wrong with my parts of the performance was that my double did not make it all of the way around, which did not feel good. Hopefully that will not happen tonight! I like pretty doubles, not ones that do not make it!
Enough cheer-talk. I just wanted to say thank you to all of our Veterans for the service they have done for our country. Also, thank you to those that are currently serving. You do so much for our country. It is because of these people that we have the freedoms that we do. They have done so much for us. Please take the time to reach out and thank the Veterans, and those currently serving, for their work. To those currently serving, please come home safe!
Unfortunately, we had to cancel the Mr. Fulton County pageant due to lack of participation. We did not have enough contestants to make holding a pageant worthwhile. We loved the idea of this pageant, so hopefully it will be able to happen next year. We just need the participants for it actually to work.
I am not sure when my next appearance is. Maybe we will be able to have one while I am home for Thanksgiving Break in two weeks. I have to continue to study and to write papers right now. As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me =)
14 October 2010
I have been incredibly busy in classes, though my lowest grade thus far is an A- in Animal Behavior. I am hoping to finish out the term and to bring my overall GPA to a 3.8. I am hoping that this will help me with medical school applications, which are due really, really soon!
Apart from a never-ending pile of schoolwork and labs, I have also had practices for cheerleading. I know that this is not going to make sense to many people, but I have a consistent standing tuck and star-toe-tuck now! I have also been working my roundoff handspring layout, I just need to go higher. Our team is hitting skills that we have only dreamed about for the past four years. I am so happy to be on such a talented team that has the opportunity to be beyond successful this year! I was also voted captain by my teammates! We have four captains this year, which may seem excessive, but it works for us. We all compliment each other very well and have strengths where others have weaknesses.
Through cheerleading, I have been participating in the Elmira College SOAR program. The SOAR program is a program through which student athletes volunteer their time to go into and area elementary school and provide their assistance with primarily reading to one classroom. Two members from each sports team volunteer to participate in this program. I along with a freshman, Alice, have volunteered for cheerleading. Those two members are then assigned a classroom that they are to help with for the year. We are assigned to a fourth grade classroom, which we got to meet today. We are there from 12:30-1:30 every Thursday and we are able to assist them with ELA (English Language Arts) mostly, but hopefully with some science too! The children were very excited when I told them that I was a biology major and that I get to take a lot of science classes. They were also had a lot of questions about what college is like, how much work we have, how we got into cheerleading, and what teams we cheer for. It was great to see their interest in higher education and every student raised their hand when they were asked if they were planning on attending college when they were older. Some even had their college choices all set! Though I did not hear any for Elmira College...Their teacher was actually a graduate of Elmira College and played hockey here. A lot of the teachers at this elementary school have some connection to Elmira College, which was nice to see. We were able to help them with ELA today where they were reading a play. I was surprised by the types of words they were expected to know at that grade level. I have to admit that fourth grade is in the distant past for me, but I do not remember having to know what "indignantly" meant. The class was so enthusiastic about reading and learning in general. They greatly impressed me with how well they read and how well they could define difficult words. I cannot wait to return next week and to again help them. I am also going to talk to their teacher to see if I can talk to them about being Miss Fulton County and about my platform because it is truly meant for their age group.
It is unfortunately time to study for my education midterm, so I will have to end this here. I promise to update sooner than I did this past time!
11 September 2010
I am also working as one of the head dance instructors at Elmira Gymnastics Club. I worked for five hours on Thursday night teaching beginning ballet to the gymnasts both on team and off team. When I am not in classes or practice, I will be spending my time working at the gym, so teaching dance will keep me incredibly busy as well! It is nice because I can use their facilities to dance in, as well as to tumble in!
I am also going to be busy with practices for cheerleading. We are going to practice five days a week, Tuesday through Friday two hours a day, then a three hour tumbling practice on Saturdays. It is a lot with classes, homework, work, and practices, but I enjoy being busy, and hate having nothing to do. I am more efficient when I have a million things going on and can set strict deadlines for myself.
I am very excited for this term, but also for this year with cheerleading. After an amazing start with a full-paid bid to nationals, the team is ready to work incredibly hard to get what we want: another National Championship title! This is my last year to obtain the National title that I came to this school wishing for. I have been working harder than ever this year, especially on my standing tumbling. I have gotten tips and tricks from some amazing people, and have worked to get a consistant standing tuck. Although it is not consistant yet, I have been landing it more and more without a spot, so I am really happy about this. I went with a couple of my teammates to practice standing tumbling before open gym and tryouts. It definitely paid off because I even landed in line in front of Coach yesterday! I just keep thinking "Up, spot, bar, heels," which probably means nothing to any one else, but it helps me to land. I just have to stay confident with it.
So it is going to be a busy, crazy term, but I am more than ready for it.
Only 9 days until I find out my MCAT scores!
I just wanted to end this post by touching on the horrors that happened nine years ago today. I, like practically every other person that was old enough to remember that day, can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I was told about what had happened. I was in 7th grade in science class with one of my favorite teachers, Mr. Newvine. My friend, Kayla, was sitting next to me. It is incredible what you can remember with a flashbulb memory. I remember how confused I was, it did not make sense that a plane had hit the Twin Towers. I just kept thinking that my Uncle Anthony worked in New York City, and I had no idea where. Was he close to the Twin Towers? Was he okay? What about all of those people that worked there? Thankfully, my Uncle Anthony was not in the middle of the chaos, but there were so many people that were. Then to think of all of those heros, the firemen, the policemen, and everyone that stepped up that day who's lives were taken. It is a lot to think about, and we should never forget the events of this day nine years ago. I am writing this right before the ceremony that is happening at the flagpole here at Elmira College. However you choose to remember this, also remember to thank the troops that are currently fighting to defend our honor and our way of life overseas. I just want to say "stay safe" to those that are already over there, and those that are about to be deployed, especially to Colin Beswick, my suitemate's fiance, who is being deployed this Tuesday. Thank you for everything that you do, and come home safe!
20 August 2010
It is just daunting to think that this test determines, in a large part, where I am going to get into medical school. I know the average scores of the incoming students at all of the medical schools I plan to apply to, and they seem reasonable. I just keep trying to tell myself that it is just a test, that I need to stay calm. I am also telling myself that if I do not obtain a score that I like this time, it IS okay. I can take the test again, many people do. If that means delaying my entry into medical school for a year, not exactly the path I would like, that it will still be okay. I do not really enjoy resorting to back up plans, but it will be okay if I have to.
Well it is time to leave to go take the test! Please send your good thoughts!
14 August 2010
Let's back up to a couple weeks ago, July 29th to be exact. It was a a busy day of appearances for me! I went to the Office of the Aging picnic. I had never attended this before and was not sure of what to expect. I thought it was just a little picnic with maybe 50 people? No way! There were over 500 senior citizens from all over Fulton County in attendance! I was able to go around with Lexi to meet and visit with almost every person in attendance. Had I known there were so many of them, I would have brought more than the 70 tear sheets that I did! I gave out and autographed all 70 tear sheets, which was awesome! The seniors in attendance were so incredibly nice and I had a great time meeting them. The event was very well put together and we had a blast! Then right after, I went to my chruch, St. Joseph's, to make an appearance at the annual festival. It was the first of three nights of the festival and there was a great turnout! I was able to visit with a lot of younger children, who were thrilled to touch my crown and to get an autograph. One girl was even happy because she is going to have the same teacher that I had in third grade this coming fall; it was incredibly cute!
The next day it was off to Elmira for cheerleading camp! One little problem--my car broke down in Schoharie on the way. That was definitely not a fun time...apparently brake routers never break? Well mine did, and the one on the other side was about to. My brake line broke at the same time so I definitely had a mini freak out session in the car. If you know me, you know that I hate to be late, and I knew that I was going to be late for the start of camp. After hours of waiting for my car to be fixed, it was finally ready and I was able to make my way to camp about two hours late. At least I was able to get there safely.
It was a long five days of precamp, getting ready for NCA camp in Boston. We got our Game Day Cheer and Rally Routine all ready so we would be prepared for what they threw at us at camp. We were able to meet 8 of the incoming freshmen that were invited to camp with us. Thankfully, they worked really well with the existing members of our team and we had a great week, regardless of the two-a-days. Then it was off to Boston for NCA camp! We had a fun time and got to see the staff that we've come to love in the past couple years. We all worked incredibly hard to show them that we were there to learn. We attended classes on chants, motions, dance, baskets, pyramids, and stunts. Although some of the stuff we learned was challenging, we worked together to learn the material they were giving us. All-in-all our hard work paid off! We won the Game Day Cheer out of everyone attending camp, placed third in our division for the Rally Routine, were voted Most Collegiate by the NCA staff, and won a Gold (Full-Paid) Bid to NCA Nationals!!! This is the first time in Elmira College Cheerleading history that a team has left camp with a full-paid bid! We were also the TOP TEAM at camp with a score of 283, with the second place team having 151 points. It was an amazing 3 days and we were definitely excited for everything we received!
Me in front of a Vanderbilt sign!
Then it was back to Elmira for the night, before leaving at 5am to catch a plane to Nashville, TN!! I was really excited because not only was I visiting friends in TN, but I was also visiting my number one choice for med schools--Vanderbilt University! The five days that I spent in Tennessee were the best days I feel I have ever had. It was a nice break away from everything and it was definitely needed. It also solidified that the plans that I have set for myself are what I actually want out of life. I loved the school, it is defintiely where I want to be. Now I just need the MCAT scores to get in.
Me and Joseph in Centenial Park next to Vanderbilt's campus!
Which brings me to what I will be doing for the next week: studying for the MCATs. All day, every day. I take the MCATs August 20th--so wish me luck! I'm going to need it...
Today was the Miss Fulton County Golf Tournament! We had a great turn out, and it was a great day. The weather was perfect for golfing, and everyone had a good time. I would like to say thank you to Danielle Trumbull, the first runner-up of Miss Fulton County 2010 and a good friend of mine, for volunteering her time at the golf tournament today. All contestants were asked to make it if they could, especially my court, and she was the only one that gave up her saturday morning. THANK YOU DANIELLE!
Well time to get back to studying...not fun.
26 July 2010
Colleen and I came up with this idea when we were all excited after Miss New York. We decided that we wanted to hold a fun fundraiser, and we thought that a Mr. Fulton County would be a great way to do that. It is not a "serious" pageant in any way, nor is it a preliminary for Mr. New York. It is just a fun time for the guys of Fulton County to show what they've got in front of their family and friends. It will be mostly scored on confidence and style. The audience will also be able to vote for their favorite contestant during intermission, which will be factored into the score. All of the information that we have so far on the pageant can be found at the facebook event that was created for it: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/event.php?eid=100662193324570
Sorry this is so short, but I just wanted to announce how excited I am for this!! I cannot wait until I have more details to give to you!
20 July 2010
That leads me to say, I'm still looking for a job. No one wants to hire college students. Not fun. I think it is pretty safe to say that I will not be getting a job in the next month that I'm home, unfortunately. So much for saving a bunch of money this summer...
Let's see what upcoming events I have...July 29th I will be making an appearance at the Office of the Aging at 11:30am. I will then be returning to Elmira College for cheerleading pre-camp July 30th! I cannot wait to be back with my team! We will then be heading to Boston for NCA College Cheerleading camp, where we will hopefully be coming back with our first full paid bid to nationals! We have a lot of talent on our team, so I'm very confident in our abilities! We will return to Elmira College August 6th. I will then be waking up really early the next morning to head to Tennessee to visit some cheerleading friends, and also to check out Vanderbilt University, which is where I hope to attend medical school. I will be returning August 12th, with just enough time to prepare for the Annual Miss Fulton County Golf Tournament August 14th! Last I heard there are still spots available, so be sure to check out the Miss Fulton County Website, which has recently been redone! Then everyone be sure to wish me luck as I take my MCATS August 20th! I'm nervous, but with all of the studying I have been doing, I am not too worried. But good wishes and prayers are still helpful! I will then be returning to Elmira College to start off my senior year by helping out with Fall Orientation, begining with training August 29th! There is the rest of my busy summer! If you feel like you would like to squeeze into this schedule by having me for an appearance, either contact me, or head to the Miss Fulton County Website to contact my Executive Director.
What can I say? I like to stay busy!
I believe that is all I have to report on for now. I still have to upload photos from my past appearances, I am sorry. Soon I will just have a post of pictures so that everyone can actually see what I have been doing!
15 July 2010
I know I have not updated in a while, but I wanted to let everyone know about the volunteering and appearances I have been doing since Miss New York.
Last week, I made an appearance at the Fort Hunter Fire Department's Canal Days. I helped the firefighters raise money for the first half of the day. I was then persuaded into being dunked in the dunk tank. I know, not incredibly glamorous, but it did help to raise a lot of money. It also felt good after being in the sun all day long. I was able to meet some great people and help raise money for an essential service in our communities.
Since Tuesday afternoon, I have been volunteering at my college, Elmira College, at the nationally and internationally recognized Orientation program. This is a three-part program, with the first portion being during the summer. It consists of Summer Registration (which I am at), Fall Orientation, and Parent's Weekend. I am an Orientation Leader, and therefore volunteer at all three sections. During Summer Registration (SR) we meet one third of the incoming freshman at each of the three registrations. This is where they are placed in groups of up to 12 students based on their majors. At this program they take three assessments, Writing, Math, and Foreign Language; they build bonds with their fellow classmates; and they register for their Term I classes. They also recieve their summer homework assignment that is due when they return to campus for Fall Orientation.
This is my third and final year volunteering as an Orientation Leader. This year I am a New Student Group Leader, so I actually get a group of 12 students that I help to integrate into the campus. All Orientation Leaders (OLs) give up at least a week of their summer for training and the program. As I said, I arrived here tuesday afternoon for training. The new students (the Phenomenal Class of 2014) arrived this morning and have already taken their Math Assessment, met with their Academic Adviser, and are now in the Foreign Language Assessment. Yes, we keep them busy!
The parents have their own program, mostly a lot of information thrown at them about the campus and our different policies. It is not very fun for them at all.
Well, the students are starting to finish up the Foreign Language Assessment, so I should get back to my OL duties!
27 June 2010
If you are a young woman that is entering her senior year in high school, or are up to the age of 24, and live, work, or go to school in Fulton County, please consider filling out an application! It is an amazing experience that I have had the joy of having for the past 4 years! You meet other amazing young women that truly want to make a difference in their community. Who knows, I could pass my title onto you!
It was an amazing and busy week, but I had a lot of fun. I learned a lot about pageants in general, but also about myself. Everyone that I've talked to has said that it was an amazing show. I have to say that my feet are happy that the week is over because they are sore from not only wearing heels to everything, but from dancing in heels all day.
Now that Miss New York is complete, it is time to start planning Miss Fulton County 2011! The big 40th anniversary show! I'm very excited for this and I cannot wait to see what we come up with! I'm hoping that some of my Miss New York Class of 2010 will be able to come to the pageant to show Fulton County how talented our state truly is! This year will be an awesome one!
24 June 2010
Monday was more of a fun day. We went on a tour on the AquaDucks. I really enjoyed this tour. We were able to learn a lot about Albany and it's history. The "splash-down" was also really fun. It is a really good tour and I learned a lot about Albany, which I was surprised about since I live so close to the area. Later, a trolly picked us up and took us on another quick tour before we went to the 677 Prime Steakhouse. It was AMAZING! I, of course, got the steak. I believe it was the best steak I have ever eaten! Then we had a Q&A with the Board of Directors and we learned what is truly expected of the next Miss New York. I believe the changes that they have made to the job description, such as attending at least 50% of the local pageants, and having to make a blog entry at least once a month, will make Miss New York more accessible to the people of New York.
Tuesday we madea lot of appearances. We went to Habitat for Humanity in the morning; 10 of us went to a build site while the other 10 went to what is known as Reform. I was in the Reform group. We painted a wall in their warehouse, baked cookies, and helped with organization of the store. It was great to see what a difference we could make in just a few short hours. Then we went to the Capitol building where we met many Assemblymen, and were even introduced to the Assembly. I met George Amedore of the 105th district, and Marc Butler of the 117th district. Both were very nice and I told them to let me know if there was anything I could do to help them out during my year of reign as Miss Fulton County. After the Capitol, we went to visit Girls Inc., which provides a positive outlet for underprivileged girls and gives them positive role models. We talked to them about what we do as title holders, how to become a title holder, and how the Miss America Organization supports young women and their goals. We even let them try out our crowns and sashes. They absolutely loved it! I also talked to the director of that chapter, and told her that I would definitely like to return, since I do not live far from the Albany area. To end the day, we had rehersal for the opening number.
Wednesday was a day full of rehersals. We had rehersal from 9-12, and learned a lot of walking patterns for the show. We then went bowling for a couple hours before we returned to the theater to practice from 4-10 on the rest of the show. We got through all of the walking patterns and production numbers. I really like the production numbers! I'm still trying to get comfortable with the walking patterns, but I just have to relax and have fun with it, rather than worry if I'm going in the right direction.
Today started kind of early for me, since I am contestant number 2. I had to be ready for interview by 7:45am. I studied a lot of material on politics, current events, and my platform all night. I was not nervous going into the interview since I did study a lot of content. Luckily, they asked me all personal and platform-related questions--those are my favorite! So I was able to talk about how I want to be a plastic surgeon, how I want to be a member of a cleft team, how volunteering is very important to me, about my scoliosis, and about my own surgery that lead me to want to be a surgeon in the first place. I think they were able to learn a lot about me and my passions, and hopefully they liked me in the interview. I came out feeling as though I had done a good job, and I was confident with the answers I had given them. Now we have a break until 2, which is when we begin rehersal again, which will last until 10. So another long day, but at least I have a long break right now to just relax, stretch, and maybe work out. We will be practicing talent tonight at rehersal, so I want to be sure that my body is stretched out so I can hit my starting pose!
Overall, it has been a very positive experience thus far, and I have enjoyed myself. I believe I have grown and have learned a lot about pageants in general just from these few days. Tomorrow is prelims, then Saturday is finals! I can't wait!
18 June 2010
Wednesday night I attended a meeting at the Broadalbin Volunteer Ambulance Corps. I had put in an application to become a member when I was home in April. At the meeting I was voted in as a member. I was excited because this is a great way to learn more about the medical field while volunteering for my community. I did an internship at Nathan Littauer Hospital last summer, so this is a great extension of that. It is also a great way to use the skills that I learned in my cpr and first aid course during this past term 3. I had my first night as a member last night. The shift I did was 6pm-6am. There were not any calls, which is good for the community, but I have to say that I did want some excitement my first night. I guess I have much more time for that, haha.
After my 12 hour shift, I went to Pleasant Ave Elementary to help with their Fun Day. The students were in a competition with the teachers to see who could read the most pages. The students won and had read, I believe, over 245,000 pages! So they won a Fun Day, complete with bouncy-bounces and a bunch of outdoor activities! I even got to go on the bouncy-bounce to practice some tumbling for cheerleading between a couple groups. The students thought my tucks and layouts were amazing, haha. I was going to do a full, but decided not to chance it right before Miss New York. After being injured 3 times during the cheerleading season, the first right after the Miss Fulton County pageant, the last thing I need is to be injured right before Miss New York! I then helped with scooping ice cream and helping with sprinkle distribution. The students were all very polite and grateful for the ice cream. The perfect end to their day was being able to hit their principal and I believe their gym teacher in the face with pies! They were such great sports about it, but I was happy that I was not the one with whipped cream all over my face and hair! I then visted a couple classes to give them autographed tear-sheets Miss Fulton County had made up for me. The students loved them! I was also happy to get rid of so many because I have sooooooo many! I told my suitemate that if I do not use them all, that we're wallpapering our room in them next year!
All in all, it was a good day, and I had a lot of fun. Visiting the schools are always a good time =)
16 June 2010
Since promoting volunteering is my platform, I was incredibly surprised when I stumbled upon this when researching more on my platform: based on 2009 data, New York is LAST in the percentage of residents that volunteer! LAST! Out of the 50 states and Washington D.C! Only 19% of residents volunteer! When looking at the broken down rankings, NY's young adult volunteer percentage was 14.4% making it 49 out of the 50 states and Washington D.C. NY's college student volunteer percentage was 16.3% making it 43 out of the 45 states included in the ranking. Since Elmira College has a community service requirement, it is almost disheartening to see that so few college students volunteer here in NY. I then looked at the teenage volunteer percentage, it was 17.3%, making it 49 out of the 50 states and Washington D.C. What is good about these rankings is that they show a greater percentage of the younger generations are involved in volunteering. This is exactly what my platform focuses on. I hope that by continuing to visit schools and talk to the students about volunteering opportunites regardless of their age, that they will see how important volunteering truly is to their communities. By finding little projects to do around the community, such as planting flowers to beautify an area, helping a neighbor by raking leaves, volunteering at the food bank, becoming a blood donor, and many more options, the students in our communities can truly make a difference! I would like to see the percentage of volunteers in NY increase in the coming year to get NY out of the last ranking in percentage of residents that volunteer! To see these rankings and to also find volunteering opportunities in your area, visit www.volunteeringinamerica.gov, or click on the widget on the left of this blog. I greatly encourage you to visit this site and to find an opportunity near you to help make a difference in our state and in your community!
15 June 2010
I am keeping myself busy before Miss New York. I have a meeting for the Broadalbin Volunteer Ambulance Corpt (BVAC) tomorrow night where I will hopefully be voted in as a member, I pick up my gown on Thursday, and I am scooping ice cream at a local elementary school because the students beat their teachers in a reading challenge! I visited them earlier in the year and promised to return if they beat their teachers. I am very proud of them, and I cannot wait to be a part of their celebration.
I have already started packing for Miss New York. I have packed 18 pairs of shoes so far. I will probably pack more before I am done. What can I say? I like shoes =)
11 June 2010
Now that everything has come in, I feel like I can finally relax. The only thing I was stressing about was my talent dress coming in, since we did not think that it would be delivered until next week, which was cutting it a little close for me. Now I can finally take a breath and relax!
I just have to keep studying current events, politics, and more information on my platform. Jenn and I are going shopping for accessories and whatever else I need next week; last minute shopping is always the best!
I cannot believe that pageant week is almost here! It seems like just yesterday I was crowned as Miss Fulton County and thinking that pageant week seemed so far away! Now it is a little over a week away!
I have to say that I really have not put pressure on myself to win. I realize that I am a newcomer to Miss New York. I am just looking to learn from this experience and to represent Fulton County to the best of my ability. It is going to be much different than anything I have done before, and I really love new experiences. I know that I am going to learn a lot over pageant week, and I am really looking forward to it.
I suppose I should start packing pretty soon, huh?
06 June 2010
I am officially a senior! Now I have to study A LOT for the MCATs I plan on taking over the summer. So not only do I have to study my platform, politics, and current events, but I also have restudy chemistry, biology, organic chemistry, and physics. So much fun..not. But it will all be worth it when I (hopefully!) get into the med school that I want to attend!
I came home June 2nd from school and only had a little over an hour to unpack and settle in before I attended a dinner with the Gloversville Lions Club. They were able to learn more about me and my platform, as well as what I have been doing to prepare for the Miss New York pageant. They were impressed that I was a pre-med major and that I would like to become a reconstructive and cosmetic surgeon. It was a very nice dinner and it was good to meet a great organization in the community.
My shoes for Miss New York came in! I am obsessed with shoes, so I was incredibly excited when they both came on the same day: it was like shoes christmas! They are gorgeous! Now I just have to find a way to make room in my closet for them...
This has nothing to do with being Miss Fulton County, but I am redoing my room and the process started yesterday with starting to take off the wallpaper! The same pink and white wallpaper that has been there since I was 2--it was time for a change. This is going to take forever though, so it has become my summer project on top of everything else I am going to be doing. Can you tell that I like to stay busy?
Today, actually in about an hour, I will be leaving to participate in the telethon for the Children's Miracle Network. It will be on WMHT, which I believe is Fox 23. I am very excited for this. I have been involved with the Children's Miracle Network on many different occassions. When I was a freshman I actually completed my required 60 hours of community service through the Children's Miracle Network. I wrote stories about the families that had been helped by the organization, helped to organize events, and even participated in the annual radio-thon. I really enjoyed my time with them and I learned a lot about the organization and the many families that they have helped, and decided to become a Miracle Maker. We are going to be televised from 3-5, so please tune in and donate what you can!
31 May 2010
Wishing you all a happy Memorial Day! Mine has definitely been a busy one! I started off the morning by participating in the Gloversville Memorial Day Parade. Lexi and I had a good time in the parade, and there was a HUGE turnout! It was great to see all of the people supporting the veterans of our community. A big thank you to all of the men and women that are serving, or have served in the armed forces. You do more for us than many care to notice.
After the parade, i stopped down at the Broadalbin Kennyetto Fire Company to grab a couple of burgers before I had to head back to school. Yes, BACK to school. Thanks to trimesters, I still have two more days of classes. I had to drive back for my dance final today. I performed the dance that I will be doing at Miss New York. To my surprise, we were performing on the grass. Not even on a stage on the grass, on the actual grass itself. Not a good idea when dancing. So naturally, when it was my turn to perform my dance, I slipped. You would think after 17 years of ballet, I would be more graceful!B But no, I was THAT girl that slipped. Everyone said it still looked good, and my aerial went well, so I was somewhat satisfied with the performance.
Now it is time to study for my first aid certification test tomorrow. As well as my physical conditioning test, but I dont think either of these will be a cause for concern. After tomorrow, I will be officially done with my junior year! So hard to believe that there's only one more year of undergrad studies left!
Enjoy your Memorial Day and remember what this day truly represents!
29 May 2010
I kicked off Memorial Day weekend by being in the Johnstown Memorial Day Parade yesterday evening. After a morning of hiking in Ithaca, I drove back to Fulton County to be a part of this parade. I had been in it previous years when I was a member of the Broadalbin-Perth Marching Band. Yes, I know, hard to believe. I was the lone French Horn player in the band. I know that French Horns are not made to march with, but since you really couldn't hear me over the 70 other people in the band, and I was not any good to begin with, I do not think that Mr. C saw this as a big issue. Johnstown always does an excellent parade for Memorial Day, and there is always a great turn out.
It was nice to be able to dress up, and not in a marching uniform, for the parade. It was also nice to not have to march the whole time and thinking about whether I was stepping with the correct foot, or attempting to remember music that I did not know to begin with. It was a relaxing change that I definitely liked.
I rode with my Outstanding Teen, Alexis Swatt. She is such a nice girl and very smart too. I loved being able to spend some time with her. My mom and step-dad, Scott, drove us in a nice convertible from John C. Miller. Scott liked it a lot and kept saying he wanted the car. I would not mind one at all! It was nice to go down the parade route and see many people that I know throughout the community. I also liked seeing all of the children get excited when I looked their way and waved; it was adorable to watch their reactions. I am going to be in another parade on Monday in Gloversville. I believe the parade starts at 9:30, so come out to see it! Also, check out cu.leaderherald.com to see the rest of the pictures from the Johnstown Memorial Day Parade!
Though Memorial Day weekend is the kick-off to summer for many people, meaning it is time to get out on the lakes in Fulton County, it is also important to remember why we are celebrating this day. I would just like to say thank you to all of the men and women that have served and are currently serving in our armed forces to protect the freedoms that we take advantage of most of the time. Also, remember those that gave their lives protecting our way of life. The men and women in the armed forces are true heroes and deserve as much thanks as they can get for everything that they do. Listen to "The Snow White Rows of Arlington" by Sammy Kershaw to really get a tear-jerker during this Memorial Day. I heard it on my way home for the parade and actually cried in my car listening to it, that's how beautiful it is.
22 May 2010
Tonight I performed the dance that I will be doing at Miss New York at Susan Sanford's School of Dance's recital. It was the 20 Years of Memories recital. It is hard to believe that Sue has been running the studio for 20 years already. That means that I have been dancing with Sue 17 of the 20 years she has owned the business. That right there makes me feel old!
It was a beautiful show. All of the performers did an amazing job and it was nice for me to sit back and remember what it was like rushing around backstage during the many quick costume changes. At least I only had one dance to perform this year!
As I mentioned, I have been dancing with Sue for 17 years. I started dancing at her studio when I was 4 years old. Throughout the years with her, I studied ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip-hop, tap, clogging, and acrobatics. I have learned so much from her about dancing and about life in general. She has always been a role model for me, and that continues after these many years. She is an amazing person, and one of the kindest you will ever meet. She is incredibly knowledgable in dance and taught me excellent technique. After I graduated and took some dance classes at Elmira College, my instructor there complimented me on how technically trained I was. I credit all of this to Sue.
The years that I danced with her were amazing, and she was the one that truly made dancing a passion of mine. She told us about how when she was younger, she would use dance as a release. Through the years, I have learned to do the same. Nothing is better than going into the studio and just dancing out any emotion I may be feeling at that time. Though I typically never remember the dances I create during those moments, they are the purest dances I have ever done because they are my emotions being completely expressed.
Dance also helped me after I had to have back surgery. It was not known whether I would be able to dance to the same extent that I had before the surgery. I was determined to be just as good as I had been, and so was Sue. She worked with me and never expected anything less of me just because I had had my surgery. She pushed me to be the best that I could be, and I thank her for that. I could never imagine my life without dance in it.
I know I have rambled a bit in this, but it is nice to go down memory lane for a little while. All in all, I had a great time tonight and I am glad that I could help Sue in celebrating 20 amazing years with the studio.
20 May 2010
I am very excited because this is my first post as Miss Fulton County 2010. I'll start by introducing myself and telling you a little about myself so you can get to know me, and see why I am doing this. My name is Heather Shaffer and I am currently a junior at Elmira College where I am majoring in Biology with a focus on Pre-Med. I am originally from Broadalbin, NY in Fulton County, and have lived there all of my twenty-one years. After I finish my undergrad next year, I want to continue on to medical school (hopefully Vanderbilt University!) where I will study to become a facial reconstructive and cosmetic surgeon. I want to ultimately become a member of a cleft team to help children that have been affected with cleft lips and cleft palates. I have recently been doing research on the Smile Train, which helps thousands of children in 77 of the world's poorest countries by empowering local doctors to use their resources to fix this treatable birth defect. Though they do not send American doctors to these developing countries, I would want to be a member of a cleft team to help children affected by these birth defects in our own country and truly make a difference in their lives. I will have another post about this organization at a later time.
I was crowned as Miss Fulton County 2010 February 6, 2010. I was incredibly excited because I had competed in Miss Fulton County the previous three years without obtaining the title. I had previously been 3rd runner up (2007) and 1st runner up (2008 and 2009). It had been a goal of mine to obtain this title to truly represent my county to the best of my ability and to promote my platform in a better way. My platform is Promoting the Importance of Volunteering to the Youth of Today. I hope to show the youth of our communities that they can truly make a difference. I want to show them that you do not have to have a huge project to make a difference in your community; by performing small acts of community service, they can make a big difference. There are so many opportunities to volunteer that many just are not exposed to. I want to raise the awareness of these volunteering opportunites so that more youth can become active in them. Volunteering is not just a one way road: true, they are helping others, but they would also benefit because it gives them a sense of accomplishment by immediately seeing how their efforts have an effect on others. I hope to use this blog to allow those, especially in Fulton County, to become aware of the many volunteering opportunities that are out there!
So what have I been doing since my crowning? Well, I have been very busy finishing out my junior year here at Elmira College. Only 6 more days of classes, but who's counting right? Anyway, I cannot wait to be officially done on June 2nd and get home to continue prepping for Miss New York! I have also been busy starting to study for the MCATs, which I plan to take this summer. Though I am nervous for this test, since it is kind of a big deal, I know that with proper preparation I should do well enough to get into the medical schools I am looking at. It is so hard to believe that my undergraduate education is almost over! Other than being busy with school, I have also been busy with cheerleading. I am a three year member of the nationally ranked competition cheerleading team here at Elmira College. We have placed 5th (2008), 4th (2009), and 6th (2010) at NCA Nationals since I have competed on the team. We are working incredibly hard in our "off season" to build our skills up already for next year: we're looking to bring that National Championship back to EC! When I'm not busy with cheerleading, I am also the Co-Public Affairs Chair for Elmira College Comix, as well as a member of Beta Beta Beta (biology honor society), Pre-Health Club, Phi Eta Sigma (freshman honor society), and an Orientation Leader. I know I seem incredibly busy, but I promise I have still had time for my pageant stuff!
Since my college is three hours away from Fulton County, my board of directors has been kind enough to schedule all of my appearances for when I am home on break. It is great that they work with my schedule, but it also makes these week breaks very busy with appearances, which I love! I have been able to visit many elementary schools in the county to tell the children about myself, my platform, and the Miss America Organization. I love doing the appearances because the children are of course in awe of the crown, but the questions they ask are great! I love being able to show them that I am just a normal person, that I have been in their position before, and also how they can help their communities just like I am trying to do! I have also crowned my Outstanding Teen, Alexis Swatt. She is an amazing young woman with so much potential and I look forward to getting to know her more during our year of reign! I have also been fortunate enough to make appearances throughout the county. I thanked two of the Miss Fulton County Scholarship Program supporters, Rossbach Shoes and J Fine Jewlery for their support and for the gifts that I received upon my crowning. I also showed support for my community at the Broadalbin Home Show and by judging a cheerleading competition at my high school, Broadalbin-Perth. I attended Miss Mohawk Valley, where I watched my friend Kieren Sheridan get crowned! A couple girls from my court were with me to make an appearance at our local Price Chopper during my last break home. Now that school is almost over and I will be home for the duration of the summer, I cannot wait for the appearances I will make in the future! I am looking forward to being in my first parades next weekend at both the Gloversville and Johnstown Memorial Day Parades! Very exciting!
Since my platform is about volunteering, I try to bring this back to my team as well. My cheerleading team is involved with community service in the Elmira area. Yesterday, a fellow teammate and I went with some other student athletes to do Adopt-a-Highway. All of us gave up our day without classes to give back to the community. We cleaned up a portion of 17, the future I-86. Though it was hot, and cleaning up garbage on the side of the road is not the most glamorous thing I have ever done, it was a good time and we really helped out our community. It surprised me how much litter is actually on the side of our highways--gross. So I would just like to say please, please, please do not litter: it is disgusting and harms the ecosystems. I suggest that everyone reads The World Without Us by Alan Weisman. It will open your eyes on how much we truly have an effect on our planet, and how our actions will continue to plague our planet when we cease to exist.
I know that this post was a little all over the place, but I just have so much that I wanted to say about the past few months! I promise the next posts will definitely be more organized and focused. I hope that this has been a decent introduction of me and my goals. You can stay updated on me and what I am up to through this blog, but also through the Miss Fulton County Website (www.angelfire.com/ny4/missfultoncountyorg). Definitely go check it out so you can see pictures from some of my appearances, as well as learn about my upcoming appearances!