Non-Platform Appearances

During my year as Miss International, my focus has been to spread awareness on mental health and break the stigma attached to mental illnesses. These efforts required me to use my personal work experience and to educate myself on advocacy and global awareness. I obtained a partnership with a national organization that afforded me the chance to collaborate ideas for a common goal. The opportunities that were presented to me allowed me to obtain knowledge and a new perspective that not even graduate school could have given me. For this, I continue to be grateful for my year with the crown.

Although my priority was for mental and emotional wellbeing, I also wanted to diversify my year. It was important to me to advocate for our pageant system’s official platform (American Heart Association), to bring awareness to my sister queens’ platforms (Veterans and Volunteerism), and to also support other organizations that I personally love. From breast cancer walks, children’s hospital visits, hosting charitable galas, and red carpet events, I truly feel that I was able to spend my year supporting so many wonderful platforms. I want to encourage each of you reading to do the same.

Whether you walk away with the Miss International 2016 crown or continue representing your state or country, find some opportunities to inform yourself with different organizations outside of your platform. You will be in awe of the people that you will meet in the process. You will gain an education and experience that no textbook can teach you. And you can walk away knowing that you made a difference in the lives of others!

Continuing to break the stigma,

Elise Banks
Miss International 2015


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