Thursday, May 28, 2015

Miss Teen International Pageant & Hollins University

We are so very excited to share the details of our new educational partnership with Hollins University!

Hollins University will be giving the following SCHOLARSHIPS to our Miss Teen International contestants - starting with this year's 2015 contestants!

Four-year, renewable full tuition scholarship to (contingent upon acceptance to Hollins):
*Miss Teen International

Four-year, renewable $30,000 tuition scholarship to (contingent upon acceptance to Hollins):
*1st Runner-up to Miss Teen International

Four-year, renewable $27,500 tuition scholarship to (contingent upon acceptance to Hollins):
*2nd Runner-up to Miss Teen International

Four-year, renewable $25,000 tuition scholarship to (contingent upon acceptance to Hollins):
*3rd Runner-up to Miss Teen International

Four-year, renewable $22,500 tuition scholarship to (contingent upon acceptance to Hollins):
*4th Runner-up to Miss Teen International

Four-year, renewable ½ tuition ($17,500 per year) scholarship to:
*Any contestant with a minimum 3.25 high school GPA and a minimum 24 ACT composite score or 1100 SAT total score (critical reading and math only)

http://www.hollins.edu

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Nationals Attire

Hello ladies!

Can you believe the pageant is almost among us? I am so so sad for it to come, but so excited to meet all of you and see who’s dreams come true! I know a lot of you are worried about bringing the right type of clothing, so I wanted to address some very specific days!

Orientation: I wore a purple peplum shiny satin dress, most contestants wore dresses or suits.

Exploring Jacksonville: I wore a pink and white striped dress and heels, in hindsight the heels were a mistake. I highly recommend comfy wedges or cute flats!

PACE Center: I wore a Fernando Wong Business dress from the Competitive Image- This is not the time to be flashy or showy, these girls have nothing, and we want to be able to connect with them. I suggest a modest business dress and little to no jewelry.

Group Photo and Contestant Dinner: I wore a long red mermaid gown, while some ladies opted for cocktails. It is not that often in like you can wear a glamorous gown around all night long, So I decided to wear a long dress, but feel free to wear a high low, or cocktail if that’s what you feel more comfortable in.

Teen or Miss Prelims: If you are in the audience you will want a dress you can sit in. So be mindful of dresses that are too short or too tight. I wore a long sleeve black Sherri Hill gown from The Competitive Image.

Rehearsals: You will want to be comfortable because you will be walking around and practicing in this dress or outfit all day. It is important to remember that the judges can sit in on rehearsals if they choose. I do not recommend sweatpants or jeans. I wore cocktail dresses.

Judges Final Rehearsal: This is the time to wear your favorite cocktail dress! Final rehearsals is watched by the judges so its important to look your best! I wore a Sherri Hill Jumper from The competitive Image!

No matter what you wear it is always important to keep in mind the image you are portraying. I knew I wanted to come off as stylish, classy and sophisticated, So I made sure that every outfit fir that mold!

I can’t wait to see your choices!

Ignite your spark,

Samantha Riddle
Miss International 2014

A Blog on Blogging - Part 2

July is quickly approaching, and that means three lucky ladies will be assuming the responsibilities of being an International Queen soon! Submitting posts for the International Pageants Blog is a big part of being a titleholder, and I want ALL of you to be prepared for that responsibility. Having previous blogging experience is extremely valuable, so let’s set up a blog for each of you!

Check out the video below for tips on how to get your blog started:


Stay tuned for future tips on what to include on your blog! If you missed the first blog on blogging, check out the link below:

http://theinternationalpageants.blogspot.com/2015/01/a-blog-on-blogging.html

If you believe in something, believe in it all the way!

Blair Wortsmith 
Miss Teen International 2014

Monday, May 25, 2015

Pageant Family

Recently I have been able to connect with the queens close to the areas I’m traveling to and some of the surround states attended the Race4Souls event.

A big thank you to not just the South Dakota International Pageants queens, Mrs. Iowa International and Miss Nebraska International, but all of the International Pageant queens who are taking the time and effort to move beyond the screen of social media to in person meeting. You are ALL so inspiring and I cannot wait to meet every single one of you!

A few highlights with the South Dakota International Pageant Queens and Mrs. Iowa International!

Don’t be afraid to reach out to you sisters and see if any schedule’s line up, after all, we are all FAMILY!

We attended an event for underprivileged youth and then toured Memorial Stadium for the Huskers (Go Big Red!)





Thank you Shirlene, Jaclynn and Lindsay!

Live What You Love,

Maggi
Your Mrs. International 2014

#GiveShoesGiveLove

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Titlewear

Envision dozens of girls in heels walking across the street carrying lots of heavy bags. The sweat begins to come, but only to cease when they walk into the frigid Times Union Center and the shivers begin. How do you dress for 100 degree weather and chilly buildings at the same time, and how do you accommodate lots of possessions without 6 bags? Don’t be scared, TitleWear is here to help!

This fabulous sponsor of ours has the cutest apparel featuring the International Pageants Crown and Roses logo. You can even custom engrave your gear with your name and title!

Here are some pieces I highly recommend checking out for use at rehearsals and more:

Both the hoodie and fitness jacket are a perfect choice for a comfortable and stylish way to warm up. These are a must in every queen’s rehearsal bag!



Speaking of rehearsal bags… Having the all-purpose tote bag or pull-through travel bag would be very convenient for any contestant that wants her belongings to be organized and easy to carry. I have traveled all over the country with these bags and will definitely be bringing them to Jax!



Be sure to head to www.titlewear.com to purchase these products and more!

If you believe in something, believe in it all the way!

Blair Wortsmith
Miss Teen International 2014

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Race4Souls


April 16th, 2015 to May 17th, 2015. 31 days. Hundreds of people…..hundreds of shoes.

As almost 200 people lined up at the start lines on Sunday May 17th in Lincoln, Nebraska, we started the Race4Souls to support Soles4Souls.

We knew 30 days would be a push, but we really felt like we could still have an impact in that short time period. Now, I have run plenty of races, but this was my first time directing a race and wow, it is tons of work, but tons of fun at the same time!

This race/walk had a very special meaning as it was also dedicated to “Lost Souls” and carrying on their legacy through the footsteps of another. We had over 10 families honoring lost loved ones. We ended up naming the kids mile “The Miles Mile” , Miles Ludvick passed away last year and his family did a shoe drive, we surprised them with the Miles Mile and it was an emotion moment.




It was so amazing to see our community rally together and on a bigger scale, so many outstanding sponsors jump on board to make a positive impact. We are thankful especially to NGC Group Inc. for being a sponsor AND providing our volunteers for race day!

A quick thank you to our other sponsors Beatrice Ford-Lincoln, Red Dirt Running Company, Hilton Garden Inn, Nebraska Sign Company, The Flatwater, and Speedway Motors

http://www.ngcgroupinc.com/

We also had virtual runners join from all over, even some of our International Queens! Visit the Race4Souls facebook page to see who joined in the effort to help Wear Out Poverty https://www.facebook.com/Race4Souls?fref=ts)

Some of my favorite event pictures below:

We had two ladies come in from Refit Revolution to get the crowd going and they certainly did just that!


Mrs. South Dakota International 2015 Shirlene Hagler and Miss Teen Southeast South Dakota International 2015 Jaclynn Knutson hopped in the photo booth for a Race4Souls Pic!

We had LOTS of shoes donated on the Race4Souls day

If you are ever thinking of hosting similar event for your platform, please feel free to message me with any questions on “How To”

Thank you for supporting Soles4Souls to helping us Wear Out Poverty!

Live What you Love,

Maggi
Your Mrs. International 2014

#GiveShoesGiveLove

The Power of Google

What comes up when you Google yourself?

In case some of you are not aware, the judges get your information well before pageant weekend! They will Google you, they will research you, and they will look at your social media accounts.

Are you active on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook?

Do you post about your platform?

Do you have your own website?

Do you post photos of you “partying”?

Do you have inappropriate modeling photos?

Is your account entirely selfies?

Do you have long drawn out angry rants?

Do you have a blog? Is it updated?

When your name is popped into Google, what comes up?

These are all things to keep in mind when using the internet. While it is a tool of great convenience, it can also be a hindrance if you don’t use it properly. I have a rule, If you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see it, then don’t post it.

We are about 2 months out from the national pageant, so now is the time to start creating more web content under your name! Let those judges see all of the hard work you have been doing for your platform!

Ignite your spark,

Samantha Riddle
Miss International 2014

Friday, May 22, 2015

“Today’s Tiger Health Tip Is…”

Everyday this year I was able to share a health tip with the student body on the announcements at my high school! I loved encouraging the students and faculty of Little Rock Central High to lead healthier lifestyles by eating more nutritious foods and becoming more physically active.

Being on the announcements is a very exclusive opportunity for only Student Council members. I was one of the first students that didn't participate in STUCO that was a regular on the daily announcements. A HUGE thank you to my fabulous principal, Nancy Rousseau, for the opportunity!

Here is a video I made at the beginning of the school year presenting that day’s health tip alongside some of my school’s student council members. Thanks Malik and David for your help!


Promoting my Be Proactive, Get Active platform each day as the Tiger Health Tip Spokesperson was a very special opportunity that I will always cherish!

If you believe in something, believe in it all the way!

Blair Wortsmith
Miss Teen International 2014

The PACE Center for Girls

The 2015 Miss International contestants will all have the opportunity to visit the Jacksonville Pace Center. I had such an incredible time there last year and am very excited to go again with all of you.

Last year, my group taught the young ladies valuable interview skills. We covered the importance of eye contact, a firm handshake, diction, and overall interview do’s and don’ts.

It is important to remember when picking out a dress to wear to the Pace center that you are there as a volunteer. This is not the time to wear your disco ball of a cocktail dress. Business attire is much more appropriate. I wore a Fernando Wong purchased at Competitive Image.

A group of us before departing for the pace center!
At the pace center speaking with the girls.

Please remember to bring your donated items with you to orientation! These ladies are so excited to meet you!

Ignite your spark,

Samantha Riddle
Miss International 2014

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Go Red for Women Luncheon

I had a great time volunteering at the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women luncheon in Little Rock. I loved seeing women of the community come together to support heart health!


I spent the morning helping out at the silent auction. There were some amazing auction items, it was tempting not to bid on all of them.


AHA had heart health tips posted around the luncheon to remind the attendees how important properly fueling your body and exercising regularly are for a health heart. This was especially exciting for me to see because of my platform Be Proactive, Get Active!




Thank you to the American Heart Association for allowing us to partner with you in the fight to end heart disease. The International Pageant girls love Go Red for Women!

If you believe in something, believe in it all the way!

Blair Wortsmith
Miss Teen International 2014

Finding Your Voice

So many saying and expressions are over used in pageantry today, and using some of the more common ones can cost you a chance at the crown. I wanted to focus on some of them and help you find ways to better communicate your ideas!

“I want to use the crown as a microphone”

This saying is probably the most over used phrase in pageants today. The judges will hear it all day long, it will not make you stand out, in fact, imagine being a judge and hearing girls repeat it interview after interview, you would more than likely forget about this girl. Instead, try explaining how specifically you will use your title to market yourself, the system and your platform.

“The title will open doors for me”

The title will open doors for everyone. This does not stand out to a judge, in fact, your only pointing out the obvious, as a judge I want to know what you bring to the table that is unique. Try using specifics and saying exactly what relationships you hope to establish with different organizations and companies.

“I deserve the crown because I am the most passionate”

Every single girl is passionate about her platform, or else she wouldn’t have chosen it. The word passionate is so over used in pageantry. Instead try using specific examples of how this platform has changed your life or how you’ve changed the life of others. Tell me a story that shows your passion, rather than telling me you’re so “passionate”

“My platform, My Platform, My Platform”

When asked what do you do for fun or tell me about yourself, you do not need to use this time to plug your platform. It does not seem genuine when every single question you are asked is somehow brought back to your platform. While many of you really do live your platforms, you also want to seem real and relatable. Remember, as an International titleholder you need to be relatable and likeable.

At the end of the day the most important tips I can give you is to find your own unique voice. You do not need to be a pageant pro to win this pageant, you need to be yourself. Giving specific details about your platform and your plan for the crown will make you stand out 100 times more than a pageant patty response! This pageant is about celebrating the unique differences in all women, lets embrace them and show those judges what the class of 2015 has to offer!

Ignite your spark,

Samantha Riddle
Miss International 2014

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Follow My Footsteps

April of 2014 the idea started brewing in my mind to write a children’s book for Soles4Souls. I remember first running the concept by them and the excitement received about the idea. We finished the book before Mrs. International, but it was something that we wanted to publish if crowned Mrs. International 2014 in that role.

Here we are about one year later and thanks to the talent of Krista Wanous Miss International 2011’s illustrations and Britt Hernandez from NGC Group Inc., the book is being published. A tremendous thank you to both of them and their efforts in making this possible.


The book includes children we have met on our actual shoe distribution trips, which is very special to me.

The picture below is of a young lad named Mirabella who lived at an orphanage. I was able to spend the most time with her on our trip to Honduras in March of 2014. We played soccer, I did her hair and we just had a really fun time together, so she is someone to always remember.


My children love to read and especially books that are fun, interactive and they feel like they can read it. We brought our children’s love for reading in to the book and Britt Hernandez really helped put the finishing touch’s on it.


The proceeds of this book will benefit Soles4Souls and we are creating a local scholarship for underprivileged youth in Lincoln, NE.

We would love to have you join the journey and help get youth excited about serving others through simple actions, like collecting shoes! Order your copy or for a young reader you know at : http://www.race4souls.com/#!product-page/c18ij/31aad76c-2611-3c92-fd35-5b6fe95b4041


Thinking about writing your own book? If you have any questions, feel free to message me and I would be happy to share what I learned through the process of getting a book published. Thank you to Keikilani Ho, Mrs. Hawaii International 2013 for sharing how she wrote her children’s book to help me get started in the process!

Thank you for supporting Soles4Souls to helping us Wear Out Poverty!

Live What you Love,

Maggi
Your Mrs. International 2014

#GiveShoesGiveLove

Senior Prom

I had an amazing time at my Senior Prom! I was lucky enough to go with my sweet boyfriend, Anthony. We went to a great dinner with our friends, took some pictures, and then went to the dance! He and I go to different schools, so I got creative with my “promposal” on Easter since we were going to my school’s dance. It was definitely an egg-cellent night!




Each year the senior class votes on a wide variety of awards to be presented at prom. I was surprised and honored to have been voted the girl that was most committed to community service in my class of nearly 600 students. Being able to volunteer frequently throughout my high school career has been a privilege, and it was very rewarding seeing my classmates recognize that!



I absolutely adored my beautiful Sherri Hill gown from the Competitive Image! Thank you Joey for always making sure I look my best!

If you believe in something, believe in it all the way!

Blair Wortsmith
Miss Teen International 2014

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Evening Gown

Choosing an evening gown can be one of the hardest or easiest things about competing. Ive met girls who tried on “The dress” and just knew that was their gown. For me, it wasn’t that simple. I tried on dress after dress after dress. I had no idea what color or style I wanted. I just knew I wanted to give off an elegant and classy look with just a hint of sexiness.

I fell in love with so many gowns prior to finding the “one”. But Even though I loved the gowns, they didn’t 100% portray the exact vibe I wanted to give off. I think as competitors, we need to be very aware of what our dress is saying about us.

A dress that’s too low cut, or a slit that is too high can go from sexy to inappropriate very quickly. Your dress should also touch the floor in the front and the back. Far too often I see a beautiful girl in a dress that’s cut way too short and your distracted by her shoes. Depending on the color of your dress you’ll want to make sure your shoes don’t stand out. I will always opt for nude shoes without an crystals unless I’m in black.

The stage is extremely bright and has color behind you. EVERY single color will show up onstage. Do not let the color of a gown deter you from choosing it. If that is your dream dress but you’re afraid it is too dark for stage, trust me, it isn’t. Just make sure it isn’t too dark for your coloring.

Remember that evening gown in your time to be elegant and classy. Practice your walk with slow music in front of a mirror. While the walk is slow, do not walk so slow that it is painful for the audience to watch. It just looks awkward in front of the judges.




Ignite your spark,

Samantha Riddle
Miss International 2014

International Pageants Wardrobe

We are so close to July, I am VERY excited to see everyone in the class of Mrs. International 2015!

The big question. What to wear?! If you have read previous blogs, you know I pack evvvvverything, so besides what will be shown in pictures below, there were “spare” outfits as well just in case.

Pre-pageant, I put together this sheet so it was clear on what I was going to wear each day. This was simple, but working with Chelsea Cooley Altman from Toned To Win really helped piece my wardrobe together (and literally, piece by piece!)


All of the pieces for the week were important to keep within my branding spectrum, which is why the coloring was consistent in each wardrobe piece. It was great working with Competitive Image on putting the wardrobe together!

On my way to rehearsal last year with Mrs. Russia International 2014!

There is a lot of time in front of cameras and public, but what to wear when getting ready? Personally, I wanted to stay in “the mode” 100% of the time and keep mentally sharp. Any moment I stepped outside my hotel room, I considered myself in a job interview and to always be in that role. If you want to be more comfortable in a jump suit or Titlewear, by all means if that is what helps you prepare, then do so. For me it was having one or two additional outfits for getting ready with hair and makeup.

Drew Dunn getting me ready for orientation! I worked with them both years, which took A LOT of stress off my shoulders having to worry about doing my own hair and makeup. Book them if you have not already, you’ll be happy you did!

Two more things to think about. There is orientation, but before that, there is the arrival at the hotel. My personal opinion is it is not time for jeans and a t-shirt, the in person interview starts then. Does this mean you need an expensive cocktail dress? No. But have a fun, accessorized outfit.

The below picture was my “arrival” outfit after 2 days driving to Florida. Mind you it was taken at 2 in the morning, but arriving is arriving and you always have to be ready!


There is one last outfit to think about that is REALLY important. What are you going to wear the day after if you win for your Mrs. International 2015 morning meeting? You will hit the ground running and need to be ready to do so, keep this in mind when packing to have it ready for your first day on the job ☺


HAVE FUN prepping. Number one thing is to stay YOU in your wardrobe choices, because if you don’t feel comfortable in it, it will show in your energy levels. If you feel great, you will be great…..which I know ALL of you already are!!

Live What you Love,

Maggi
Your Mrs. International 2014

#GiveShoesGiveLove

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Non- Believers

Often times in pageantry you encounter people who are unfamiliar with the pageant world and don’t quite understand why you partake in pageants. It has been my experience that a simple answer about the positive impact it has had on my life will suffice for a majority of people.

But, every once in a while I am faced with a person who really does not understand. I will then tell them about all of the wonderful things that can come out of competing in pageants. Pageants can be a launching pad for a career in acting, modeling, or even running for office. They teach young woman valuable skills and life lessons they will not learn in school.. ex: How to interview for a job.

Pageants teach ladies the importance of being a good role model. In today’s society where so many women are succumbing to society’s pressure to show more skin or post inappropriate photos online, pageant girls are keeping it classy. They know the importance of a strong social media presence.

I once had someone say to me “pageant girls are only volunteering to win the crown”. In turn I asked “well, what have you done lately to help humanity” and of course they couldn’t answer. While not every girl volunteered before she competed in pageants, that doesn’t mean her choosing to compete in pageantry should take away from her volunteering. If competing in pageants made a young lady reach deep down inside of herself and find a cause she wants to stand up for… shouldn’t we be applauding pageantry for its effect on our young ladies?

While I volunteered with my mother for several different causes when I was younger, I didn’t have a clear path or direction on community service. Signing up for pageants made me really focus on a deeper level and help me decide how my time could be most effective. Pageants changed my life, I would have never have accomplished the things I have without being inspired by and seeing so many Miss Internationals before me lead the way.

Pageant ladies are world changers, They are Super Hero’s in better shoes. They are the ultimate woman. They can show up to a pageant looking like a goddess one day, and then humbly feed starving children in a third world country without a stitch of makeup on their face the next. I have never been more proud to belong to an organization that I am with the International system.

Ignite your spark,

Samantha Riddle
Miss International 2014

Thank You Soldiers!

“Zachary Fisher was the equivalent to Donald Trump, but he never wanted anyone to know it”, our tour guide Ken at the Fisher house explained how Zachary Fisher had impacted not just thousands, but millions of lives with his wife Elizabeth.

Fisher Houses provide military families housing close to a loved one during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury. Our greatest national treasure is our military service men and women and their loved ones as noted by a sign when you enter each Fisher house.

Mr. Fisher tried to join the service as a young man when he was of age, but due to previous injuries was unable to. He went back to what he knew, construction. His company grew until he amassed enough real estate and fortunate equivalent to Donald Trump, the big difference as our tour guide noted was Mr. Fisher was a very humble man, never wanting his own horn blown for his generosity. One of the few men in the world who to receive a highest honor a civilian can receive. As a thank you soldiers who are injured, the Fisher houses are built so they can stay free with their families while they are recovering from wounds. They are all over the country, but the very first one was built in Washington DC and is pictured in the collage below with the #1 over the entryway.

Each home is built with state of the art appliances and high quality materials so the soldiers and their families can feel “at home” when staying there, which is free of charge. Ken did an amazing job with the tour, thank you Ken and for all you do for the soldiers when they stay there!


Full story on the Fisher House: https://www.fisherhouse.org/

After the Fisher House we visited Walter Reed Medical Facility to see some wounded warriors. We were not able to take any photos, but nearly all of us walked away in tears. One patient was a veteran recovering from cancer and had been in for nearly 3 months. He was near the end of his chemo and said he needed some sunshine that day and we made his day. He had served for 40 years and shared a few stories with us of his service. His favorite memory though was when he retired because so many people attended, it was at that point he said he realized how much his service had meant.

We were able to take some photos with the doctors serving at Walter Reed, what a great group of doctors and nurses!

My favorite site we visited was the Pentagon! Not only did we get an amazing tour, but met some leaders of the military. The below picture is with the honorable Juan Garcia, Assistant Secretary of Navy Manpower and reserve affairs who is sporting a Soles4Souls bracelet! What a great opportunity to share about our platforms.


My favorite part of the trip was of course being with the International Pageant sisters who live in that region!

Some other fun memories below from the trip!

Some kids tracked us down in DC and asked for some pictures, and we grabbed some with this awesome group!

My Mrs. International Business card is now on the wall at the Senate House ☺ 

The day I left I ended up touring DC to see all of the National Monuments. This picture is from the WWII Memorial and I found my state!


Thank you to Lyss Milan for helping coordinate the efforts in Washington!


If you have never been to DC, you should go as and pay honor to the soldiers lost and do what you can do honor the ones who are here fighting for our freedom everyday. Thank you from the ends of the earth to all who are serving and their families, all of you are true heroes.

Live What you Love,

Maggi
Your Mrs. International 2014

#GiveShoesGiveLove

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Arkansas International Pageant

It was a busy weekend at the Arkansas International Pageants! Not only was there the Teen, Miss, and Mrs. AR Int’l Pageant but also the Little Miss Arkansas Int’l Pageant!

I was the emcee for the Little Miss pageant. This was my first time to ever host a pageant and I was very excited! My younger sister, Payton, was named Junior Miss Arkansas International! Watch out world, the Wortsmith family may have another MTI in a few years! (;



During the show I was able to host the on-stage interview and fun fashion phases of competition, share about my year as Miss Teen Arkansas Int’l, and of course say my farewell. I am thankful for the opportunities I had to serve the Natural State and am excited for the new winners! Congrats and welcome to the International Pageants Class of 2015!




If you believe in something, believe in it all the way!

Blair Wortsmith
Miss Teen International 2014