The Experience of a Lifetime

The Windy City was definitely blown away from all the 2011 International Pageant contestants! Our agenda was adventure-filled! From Lincoln Park Zoo to the Skokie Library, we did it all!
We kicked off the week with orientation! During orientation we introduced ourselves, went over the agenda for the pageant week, heard reflections from the entire pageant staff and Juliana McKee – Miss Teen International 2010, received our group line up and contestant number, and learned more about the International Pageant’s alliance with Go Red for Women.  Miss Teen Massachusetts International 2011-Jazmin Hampton, Miss Teen Hungary International 2011-Sylvia Nádor, and I won the Go Red door prizes!!
The next day we were out and about in Chicago! Our first stop was the John Hancock Observatory. We skyrocketed up 1,000 ft in just 40 seconds in North America’s fastest elevator!! At the top floor, our view consisted of 4 states (Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois) and Lake Michigan!
Our view was extraordinary!!!

We did some window washing as well! Wax on, wax off!

Afterwards we visited Lincoln Park Zoo in the heart of Chicago! I love animals so this was a perfect fit for me!


We saw an assortment of animals: lions, tigers, and pageant girls..oh my!

For lunch the Miss and Miss Teen International contestants rallied at the Boys and Girls Club.

We signed autographs and made crowns with the girls!

That afternoon we gathered for a Princess Ball at the Skokie Library! The ball was such a heart-warming experience because we met all kinds of new princess friends!
We colored, played games, danced, and talked all about princesses!

That evening after rehearsals, the Misses and Teens dressed up for a group photo, dinner, and a motivational speech given by Eddie Peterson (California International Pageants director).

His words were touching and inspirational. Quote of the week: “You don’t know my life!”

The next morning: INTERVIEW!!! My favorite part of competition! The view of the Chicago skyline from the interview room was very relaxing. I thank God for granting me His peace and for speaking through me during my interview.

International Angels!

Thursday and Friday were the preliminary pageants for Teens and Misses, respectively. I was honored to receive the Miss Teen Photogenic award!! Also, congrats to Miss Teen Tennessee International 2011-Randi Strong for winning the Miss Teen Congeniality award!!!!
With Clay Spann on Prelim night

Now we have reached Saturday: Finals Night. The day began with rehearsals early in the morning. That night over 80 gorgeous contestants lit up the stage! Miss Teen Arkansas International 2011-Blanche Murphy, Miss Teen Rhode Island International 2011-Stephanie Mulcahy, and I were hand in hand, waiting on the calling of the Top 10. I was very blessed to have advanced on. After competition was over and every contestant reentered for the announcement of the new winners and courts, I stood side by side with my new pageant sisters and couldn’t help but become teary eyed. We made it this far and I was so overcome with emotion to be able to be a part of this life changing experience. I’m not going to lie, once the Miss 1st runner up was called, I began to sink in my heels. I recalled a discussion a judge and I had: whether I placed last or I won, I would be satisfied with whatever plan God had for me. Next words I hear: Miss Teen International is…Carr…Virginia. Wait, did I miss something? My last name is Carr and I’m representing Virginia. Um, did I just….win??? I was flabbergasted!! My first reaction was to scream but nothing came out! I could feel my mascara running as Juliana walked over to me, sash in hand. I looked at her and asked, “Is this for real??” She just smiled.

As the banner was draped around me and the crown was placed on my head, I couldn’t help but look up and touch the crown to see if it was really there. (And yes, it was!) I was then handed flowers along with a hug from Kevin Michael Raponey, the extremely talented entertainer for the pageant. When I turned around to take my first walk, the waterworks became uncontrollable. The same was true for my mother and father, who were sitting in the front row cheering me on! After hugging and congratulating the Top 5, Ciji and I took the stage!
I was taken aback; never will I forget that treasured moment.

Mackenzie Carter-4th runner up, Miss Teen California International 2011; Blanche Murphy-2nd runner up, Miss Teen Arkansas International 2011; Jurnee Carr-Miss Teen International 2011; Jenny Monson-1st runner up, Miss Teen Minnesota International 2011; Margo Huffman-3rd runner up, Miss Teen Maryland International 2011
 
Wow! I am so honored to be among these girls! You show tremendous passion for your platform and are incredible role models to all those who are fortunate enough to hear your message. Infinite congratulations to:
Jenny Monson-1st runner up, Miss Teen Minnesota International 2011
Blanche Murphy-2nd runner up, Miss Teen Arkansas International 2011
Margo Huffman-3rd runner up, Miss Teen Maryland International 2011
Mackenzie Carter-4th runner up, Miss Teen California International 2011

Aside from all the appearances and rehearsals, one thing that will always be treasured is the experience the contestants shared throughout the week. I met over 80 new friends that will always be my pageant sisters. I thank God for bringing us together during the week. It’s no accident that we were brought together! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to Mary Richardson and the entire International Pageant family for maintaining integrity and respect in the pageant; I am forever grateful for your hard work. My dream came true and the 2011 Miss Teen International Pageant was an experience I will never forget.

Jurnee Carr

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