Thursday, August 25, 2016

Get to Know My Home State - Wyoming

Landscape_of_Jackson_Hole,_October_2010.jpg

Wyoming is known for holding our nation’s first National Park, in Jackson Hole W. Y.

Yellowstone National Park is known as one of the most beautiful parks in the US, vibrant, full of stunning mountains, geysers, hot springs, and wildlife including: moose, bison, bears, wolves and elk.

Wyoming is the lowest populated state, in fact, there are more cattle, than there are people! It also houses the first national monument, Devil’s Tower, AND it is the home of the largest coal mine in the US. It's known for its beautiful sunsets, and picturesque landscapes on the horizon. Wyoming is truly the last frontier. Wyoming cowboys still saddle up on the horses to check cattle, and still bring in the calves for branding and vaccinations. Don’t let the beauty of this state fool you, it is STILL the cowboy state. There is no better place to work than the Wyoming great outdoors!

Living the frontier life isn't for everyone though, living in a small town, might require you to give up some “luxuries”. Having moved from Dallas Ft.Worth, T.X. myself, I know all too well. It might not have a mall, a skating rink, a bowling alley, a Hobby Lobby (NOOO!!) or any an outdoor pool….But maybe I should just tell you what we do have...

Well we have the best coffee house in the world at the “Kaffee Klatsh” also “Isabella’s” one the cutest Italian restaurants with the best pizza! The most delicious breakfast on the planet at “Donna’s Diner.” A hidden cabin with the juiciest steaks called “Canyon Springs Steak House” and not to mention, we have gorgeous mountains, pine trees, rolling hills, wild turkey, and deer.

I have met some of the nicest people all across Wyoming….Some of whom, have taken my family in as their own. Since we’ve moved out to Wyoming, we are more active as a family. Hiking, biking, riding horses, and exploring the great outdoors, is all a part of your everyday life in Wyoming. It sounds crazy but my marriage and my family has grown closer together, living in Wyoming!

Needless to say, we made the right choice by moving to Wyoming.

And last, but not least, we found purpose in Wyoming. We were literally called out here, that may sound weird, but it's true...We moved out here to make a difference! Our outreach (feeding, teaching and loving the kids of my community every week) has been one of the most rewarding experiences, we are making a difference in young people’s lives. There is nothing more fulfilling than living a life of purpose, I encourage you to find your “Wyoming” and to live a purpose-driven life.

I'm your Mrs. International, reminding you - To choose love,

Priscilla

Life in the Blessed Lane

The next year is an adventure I have dreamed of for so many years! I am extremely passionate about using this year of service to make an impact across the world. True Beauty Movement, the National Eating Disorders Association, and Go Red for Women will be at the bedrock of all I do and I am thrilled to share this adventure with you all.

True Beauty Movement is currently celebrating its 5 Year Anniversary! Since the organization’s inception, I have been able to host True Beauty Workshops across the country and this year I am taking it a step further. Over the next 8 months, I will be traveling to South Africa, Kenya, and Rwanda to present True Beauty Workshops to young women internationally. We have partnered with numerous organizations, orphanages, and all-girls schools to equip young women with tools to grow a positive body image and character. In addition to my travels across the country and internationally, I will continue scaling the organization through social media (Instagram: @TheTrueBeautyMovement) and YouTube (OfficialAmandaMoreno). It is my sincere hope that this year is the most astonishing the organization has ever seen and that it positively impacts more girls than we can fathom.

True Beauty Movement works in partnership with the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) to empower, educate, and equip young women. My personal battle with an eating disorder allows me to speak transparently about proactivity, family involvement, treatment and true recovery! I’ll spend my year representing NEDA at fundraising events, advocacy opportunities, workshops, conferences, and online. This organization is so near to my heart because many of the resources they provide helped in my personal recovery. NEDA has numerous International Alliances that I will be working in partnership with so that all those impacted by eating disorders know that they are not alone and recovery is possible! I’ll be breaking the stigma with my crown and banner as a megaphone, ready to represent the genuine happiness and life that comes from having a healthy mind and body!

Heart disease takes the life of 1 in 3 women across the United States yet it is 80% preventable. As an ambassador and spokesperson for Go Red for Women… I will be working to raise awareness, educate women on heart disease, and fundraise for the organization so that one day all women know their risk and are living out a heart healthy life! I’ll work in tandem with the national office to promote Go Red Get Fit, the Red Dress Collection, and Heart Walks across the country. We have some very exciting events in store and I cannot wait to announce what is coming our way.

I truly love the service opportunities that come with being Miss International… but the glamorous facets that come with this job are undeniably noteworthy! In addition to all the wonderful service opportunities, I will be able to work alongside our sponsors to represent International Pageants and make a way so more women can experience this phenomenal organization. I’ll be shooting with Clay Spann Photography & Cosmetics, selecting my Miss International wardrobe from Competitive Image, getting #AllDunnUp with Thomas and Drew Dunn and more! The amazing team truly does know how to make someone feel like royalty and I am thankful for all that they do!

To keep up with all of my adventures, make sure to follow me on Instagram at @MissIntl2016 and subscribe to our blog and YouTube channel so you don’t miss a moment of life in the blessed lane.

Redefining Beauty Worldwide,

Amanda Moreno
Miss International 2016

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

My Plan of Action

Hello everyone! My plan of action is really divided up into three sections: American Heart Association- Go Red for Women, Dancing Through the Pain, and the U.S. Pain Foundation!

First let's start with Go Red for Women! Pricilla, Amanda, and I recently had our first meeting at the American Heart Association headquarters. It was so amazing to learn even more about this organization. We are determined to make the most out of the opportunities they are giving us to be involved in many campaigns, and even take a special trip later in the year. I don't want to share too much information since we are still finalizing all the details! I will let everyone know as soon as I can!

My program Dancing Through the Pain has grown significantly in the past couple of months. My plan is to continue what I have been doing! Encouraging people to download the free Pain Patient Resource App I created and use its resources! I also plan to develop even more YouTube videos to grow my channel and my audience. With the power of social media and volunteers, I am excited to see how many people I can reach over this next year!

The U.S. Pain Foundation is working on many new campaigns as well! I am excited to be a part of them. Also we have two big months coming up! September is Pain Awareness Month and November kicks off the foundations KNOWvember campaign. These months are all about spreading the word about chronic pain and pain patients! Again, we are still finalizing details, but I will let you know how you can get involved. After all, pain effects everyone at some point in their life!

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds." -Orison Swett Marden

Garin

My Plans as Mrs. International 2016


I am so humbled and overjoyed to be your Mrs. International 2016.

My husband and I are fully committed to our platform "Choose Love". We believe that now, more than ever, we need a message of love.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." Martin Luther King, Jr.

There is so much that I want to do this year as your Mrs. International, but I want to start by saying, “this is more than just a year of service to my husband and I…It's a life-long commitment!”

Ever since I can remember, I've LOVED children. My favorite toys as a child, were always baby dolls. When I was 6, my mom had my little brother, David. And I was in love with my new "doll". I remember getting in trouble A LOT after that, I was constantly getting caught holding my new baby brother. Yup, a BIG no-no, without supervision.

Growing up in church, I would always find a baby in the congregation, and I would ask to hold him. I remember staring at them, so in love, and holding them the entire church service.

It's safe to say, this was a God-given love and compassion placed on my heart, at an early age. I see that same heart in my youngest daughter, Adonai Grace.

That compassion, is the driving force that fuels my desire to stop the abandonments of babies.

Millions of babies are being abandoned on a global level! And together, I believe we CAN stop the abandonments of babies. As Mrs. International, THAT will be my number one focus. To spread awareness internationally, to educate internationally, and to internationally- prevent the abandonments of babies.

I'm currently partnered with Impact Ministries International, who has 55 different orphanages, in 15 different countries. We built three orphanages in Honduras with their ministry (who runs them.) We are working together in hopes to put baby boxes at all their 55 orphanages. This is a HUGE undertaking- and we covet your prayers.

Abandonments are still happening here, in the US, even with Safe Haven Laws in all 50 states. My next goal is to help Safe Haven Baby Boxes grow into every state. I believe that, THAT is what we are missing in the US! Mothers can safely surrender their babies at any Safe Haven location and not have to face child abandonment charges. However, there are still abandonments happening, and I believe it’s because mothers are afraid of being seen. And this (baby boxes) is the only way that we can remove that face-to-face interaction.

Lastly- I plan to continue spreading the message of "Choose Love " to schools, speaking on bullying and choosing to love others – through giving-back and volunteerism. Speaking to couples on “true love, unconditional love, and forgiving love.” To families, speaking on “parenting in love, patience and kindness.” By supporting my sister queens and their causes. And by helping build families through adoption, and fostering.

I believe in investing in our future generations, and LOVE is the answer. Because when we "Choose Love " we choose God, and His way is ALWAYS the right way.

I’m your Mrs. International, reminding you - to choose love,

Priscilla

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

For Such a Time As This

My journey to this job began 15 years ago… and I knew in my heart that Miss International 2016 would be my very last competition. Because of this, I was “all in” throughout each step of the process. Every ounce of me prepared to not only compete in the required phases of competition but also to be Miss International. I woke up thinking about the job and went to sleep thinking about the job. I mentally prepared for it and because of that… I went into Miss International Week with the mindset that I was ready for the job (#RFTJ). My team and I lived and breathed that anthem over the week. I had no interest in being a ceremonial queen, no… my heart was set on changing the world with the Miss International crown and banner as a catalyst and vehicle. I knew in my heart that Jesus had been preparing me for this week my entire life. My trust and identity has to be in Him alone.

Since I live in Georgia, my family and I decided to drive down to Jacksonville… and thank goodness we did - I didn’t leave any outfits to chance and our car was packed! My backup outfits had backups. Crazy or prepared? You decide. We arrived at the pageant early to watch the Mrs. International competition and get settled in! This allowed us to relax and make sure that all was in order for the phenomenal week ahead.


The weekend flew by and before I knew it… it was Monday AND Orientation Day! Before the pageant even began, I met some of my International sisters around the hotel and the girls that would become my best friends throughout the week. Orientation allowed us to meet the other representatives and helped us get a better understanding of the exciting events in store and best practices. At the end, we were all on pins and needles waiting to hear where we would be in line up. I was lucky #13!

On Tuesday and Wednesday, we were constantly on the move! From touring Jacksonville, to a beautiful dinner with a meaningful message, even learning CPR and the run for the Prelim and Final Show… the days were filled with laughter and memories. Mornings started extremely early, but with coffee and genuine friendships by my side… even 3:30 AM wakeup calls were enjoyable. On Wednesday, we were able to pour into the young women at the Pace Center. This service opportunity was my favorite event from the week. The Pace Center is so closely aligned with my organization, True Beauty Movement, and the young women we met with fueled the second half of my week. It was a privilege to meet with them and my group spoke about “Public Image”. We had a dynamic group of representatives from a myriad of backgrounds lead discussion and provide the young women with tangible strategies to shape their image in a professional way.




Thursday and Friday were the days when the main areas of competition truly began. The one-on-one interview with the judges allowed my paperwork to come to life and my passion for all I do to show. They were so well educated on who I am and True Beauty Movement from their research that the interview flew by and the questions were direct and intentional. I walked out with a smile on my face confident that they knew my heart and the mission I am on. The Preliminary Competition was so exhilarating and I was, overall, happy with my performance. After the competition, I debriefed with my team and created a plan of action if I was to be selected for Top 11.

Saturday was finally here and I knew that in just a matter of hours… my life could change forever. The day flew by and I was so thankful to have my fellow competitors and friends by my side to ease the stress and keep my mind focused on having fun until it was game time. We were constantly laughing about the fact that I am always smiling in candid photos and have a hard time taking a selfie without making a ridiculous face. Laughter was the constant music throughout the week and I am forever thankful for the genuine friendships I made.

It was 7:30p and the curtain began to rise. My heartbeat racing and mind saying “Be the best Amanda”… I stepped on stage as a competitor for the last time with my confidence in Him. The opening number went off without a hitch - I didn’t fall while attempting to move multiple limbs at once… so to me that’s success! Our emcees then began to call the Top 11. They called 1.. 2… 3.. all the way to 8 and I still had not been called. Mentally giving myself a pep-talk, I tried to smile through the nerves. Finally, I was called as number 9 in the Top 11! Now it was time to prepare to “fight for my life” in the upcoming competition. Scores are wiped clean once making Top 11, so now was the time to step it up! Each phase went by and I was able to walk off the stage confident that I had given it my all. Before I knew it, I was backstage with my friends waiting for crowning.

Before we all went back on stage… I looked around and found myself at a peace that I had never experienced. I texted my team and said, “I was the best Amanda I could be. It’s all Him.” I put my phone away and took a photo with a young woman who was one of my best friends throughout the week and someone I had taken under my wing as a little sister. Little did we know what was about to happen.


As I watched the emcees begin calling the Top 5… I could feel the anticipation building.They called the beautiful court for both Miss Teen and Miss. Then… they named my little sister, Garin Harris, as Miss Teen International! You would have thought I had won by my reaction. I was so proud of her and the look on her face when she made eye contact with me will forever be engrained in my heart.

I looked out to the audience one last time as the emcees began to call the new Miss International… and all I could say in my mind was “Thank you, Lord, for this opportunity. My identity is in You and I am thankful for all that You have done and will do. I trust in You.”

“And your new Miss International 2016 is…”

Time stopped. It was the most surreal experience. I looked into the audience and realized that the dream I had as a 9 year old girl had finally come to fruition. As the crown was placed on my head, I began crying out of pure joy and thankfulness. When we turned around, I saw all of my friends with smiles as they embraced me and my running mascara. I kept saying, “God is so faithful. He is so faithful. He is so faithful!” Never in my life have I experienced the presence of God as much as I did in those few moments. I felt Him saying, “I’ve loved you from the beginning, my Princess. The moments you gave up on yourself… I always believed in you. I let you face the challenges so that you can lead and inspire others through True Beauty Movement and now as Miss International 2016. You’ve been prepared for such a time as this.”


Redefining Beauty Worldwide,

Amanda Moreno
Miss International 2016

My Week in Jacksonville

My experience with nationals was quite amazing! The week didn't start off as planned! Maybe some of you saw my Facebook post about this, but it's one interesting story I would love to share. I decided to road trip to Florida.


With everything that you need to bring it becomes way more than you can fit into one or two suitcases. We had made it so far without a hitch, when suddenly everything went downhill. My truck stopped working in the middle of the highway! Luckily I had enough momentum to pull over. So, I was stuck the side of the highway, but let me tell you I was determined. I popped open the hood and started working on my truck heels and all. By the time I showed up to the hotel I was covered in grease. My hair was flat and my makeup might as well have been gone! However it reminded me of something important. A big part of being a title holder is being adaptable, you have to be able to make the best out of every situation. That is also one key thing I teach during my Dancing Through the Pain Classes.

The rest of the week was extremely busy from touring the Jaguars stadium to late night rehearsals. At the end of the week it is worth it! You meet so many new friends from all over the world. We still have a group chat going and everyone talks almost every day. I could tell so many great stories about pageant week, but I am going to save some to share with everyone later! 


Going into finals night my goal was top eleven, my mom wasn't able to come to prelims due to her health. She made it to finals so all I wanted was for her to see me compete. When they called my name in the top eleven, it was truly a rush of emotions. I was ecstatic but I knew it was going to be a challenge! We all helped each other backstage, from zipping dresses to pep talks we all had each other's backs. I cannot say thank you enough to everyone who helped me during the week.

Amanda and I knew each other through social media before pageant week. We had always just clicked! As soon as we met at the beginning of the week we became so close. She was like my big sister, in fact I remember turning around and seeing her face when they called my name as Miss Teen International. She was screaming, the pictures are actually pretty funny! When they called Amanda's name... My reaction was priceless. I was already crying and a mess, but once they called her name I started yelling so loud (you could probably hear it from the back of the theatre)! Amanda, I cannot wait to see what other crazy adventures we have this year! 



"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds." -Orison Swett Marden

Garin Harris

Monday, August 22, 2016

Pageant Week & Crowning

I had the most amazing time at Mrs. International, it was an unforgettable experience. My week started like this:

Day 1 - Orientation Day

I absolutely love how calm the first day was, it was so easy going AND I got some great rest. I was able to sleep in!! That evening we had our orientation, and boy, was I nervous! But once I got there, and met all 62 of the beautiful, amazing ladies…I felt right at home. I met some of the most talented, selfless, and inspiring woman you’ll ever meet. I felt so honored to be amongst all of them. I immediately hit it off with some of the contestants. You know how sometimes you just know, that you know, that you know…That someone is going to be a friend for life? Yea, I totally experienced that, more than once!

Day - 2 Was a little different, it was non-stop!

We started the day sightseeing in St Augustine, which is absolutely beautiful!! We took the trolley all around town. We went and visited the "Fountain of Youth" and actually drank from it (it didn’t taste very good.)

Afterwards, we went shopping, and I was able to get my kiddos souvenirs, woohoo!! We then went and had a tour of the NFL, Jaguar stadium, which was actually pretty cool….Even though I'm not a NFL fan. And then after that, had dinner and started our first round of practices.

I have to say, the production team was Ahhh-maze-ing!!! All of them were so sweet, and so good at what they do! They're seriously, the best of the best! Even though it was a busy day, I had a fabulous time.

Day-3 Was all "Practice, practice, practice!"

I know that practice doesn’t sound like fun, but our “practice days” were some of the most memorable days of pageant week. The production team broke up our practices into “teams” therefore giving our feet a break, and allowing us time to mingle and get to know one another. It was during those practices that we got to truly know one another.

Day- 4 Interview Day!

I loved day 4… It started with interview. Can I hear an AMEN!!? Interview is actually the most important part, because interview is 50% of your score…So you are sooo relieved when its all said and done.

Then we had a quick and easy practice. AND THEN came the fun part…The Go Red For Woman Gala Auction. I felt like Cinderella at the ball, everyone looked so beautiful, the contestants in their dresses were all breathtakingly-gorgeous! We had such a great time, and we took a million photos!

Our last two days, were the preliminary and finals days. 

Both days started with practices, and then it was “off to hair and makeup!” Which consisted of gallons of hairspray, and pounds of makeup. I really appreciated how much time we were given to get ready, I never felt rushed or unprepared. AND what I really loved - I never felt lost. We were so well rehearsed that we could do it all with our eyes closed, no kidding!!


Finals night - “And in the top 15”… 

Imagine the host going through the top 14, and there is one spot left…. Your heart feels like it’s about to jump out of your chest, and then he says it “Mrs. Wyoming Intl, Priscilla Pruitt.”

Maybe it’s because I was called last, but I was so appreciative to hear my state and name!

Then again, when they called out the top 10, I was called out last “Mrs. Wyoming Intl. Priscilla Pruitt”. There is nothing more nerve wrecking than that!

Then they called the 4th runner up, the 3rd runner up, the 2nd runner up, and lastly, the 1st runner up. So there were six of us, top 10 contestants, left on stage. We were holding hands anxiously waiting….. (Now this was one time, I did NOT mind being called out last.) I remember closing my eyes and then they said it “Priscilla Pruitt!”

I’ve never seen my husband prouder, the look on his face at that moment-was priceless! I was shaking, I was in complete shock. So grateful!! I think I thanked the Lord, like ten times! I was doing a good job of holding back the tears, that is, until I saw my kids…And they were crying! I could see the pride in their eyes, and I lost all control. Yup, I ugly cried. But I didn’t even care, I was so happy, that I proudly showcased my tears of joy.
I’m so honored, and I feel so incredibly blessed to represent all the married woman internationally. I plan to use this year to its fullest and share my platform across the globe.

I’m so grateful for this opportunity, it is one that I do not take lightly.

I’m your Mrs. International reminding you - To choose love,

Priscilla