One of the most impacting and inspiring things I have ever been told was said to me by Jurnee Carr, Miss Teen International 2011.

In April of 2012, I competed in the Miss Teen Arkansas International pageant for the first time. There were some amazing young women there and I honestly did not expect to win the pageant or even make top five. I was going to be excited just to win any award and happy I was able to compete and experience this pageant. To my complete surprise I placed as 4th runner up! I was beyond excited!

After the pageant was over and the much deserving Erica Brewer was crowned Miss Teen Arkansas International 2012, everyone began to run across the stage to hug their friends and congratulate Erica. I was looking into the crowd and smiling at my family, when the next thing I knew, before me stood Jurnee Carr. She looked at me and said not to be disappointed about not winning. She said that the first time she competed she placed fourth runner up and look at where she was now! She was Miss Teen International!

I was inspired by her and it gave me motivation to come back the next year and compete again. This gave me courage and determination to make my dreams come true, though I had no idea that I would be Miss Teen International a little over a year later!

The point of this story is to pass on what Jurnee gave me. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again! With a little hope and determination you can go a long way. It is my most sincerer  hope that you never stop dreaming and believing that anything is possible. Shoot for the moon and even if you miss you will still be among the stars.

All my love,

Haley Pontius
Miss Teen International 2013


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