Diary of a beauty queen

Brittany Monico won Miss Broward County and competed for the title of Miss Florida. Courtesy of Brittany Monico.

Brittany Monico, junior elementary education major, is an active leader at NSU. She won Miss Broward County and competed for the title of Miss Florida with NSU’s sponsorship.

I left for St. Petersburg to compete for the Miss Florida pageant on July 3. I packed my Honda to the max with necessities and I am not a light packer. I jammed to the radio the whole way and the closer I got to it, the more excited I was. It felt good to finally know the pageant was close because I had worked so hard for it.

My heart raced when I saw other contestants. I had competed in pageants before, but not at this level.  In the Miss America system every girl brought something to the table. In that sense, it made me nervous knowing I was competing against the best of the best. Not to mention, I had so many supporters: my family, friends
and NSU.

The only phase of competition I was not nervous about was my talent. I have been a competitive dancer for 15 years and performing on stage is something I love. I performed a jazz acro routine to a Rob Thomas hit, “This is how a heart breaks”. Aside from the talent contest, I had other activities: a panel interview, an on-stage interview, the bathing suit and the gown contests.

Although I did not win the Miss Florida pageant, I learned a lot and grew from the experience. At first, I felt a bit upset, but then realized that as the youngest candidate, I had gotten very far for my first time. Meanwhile, there were other girls who competed several times and still had not placed. I learned to be proud of my efforts.

This summer, I also served as a senior camp counselor specialist, teaching cheer and dance to kids. I worked 7-hour shifts daily. It definitely wore me out at times and after work all I wanted to do was rest — and it wasn’t easy with Miss Florida around the corner.

As Miss Broward County, I strongly enforce my platform, H.O.P.E (Helping Out People Everywhere). It is a volunteering-based platform focusing on getting children involved in their communities.

This summer, I also volunteered with the American Red Cross, the Special Olympics, Children’s Miracle Network and others. My favorite event was the National Night Out Against Crime in Margate, where I spoke briefly. For the first time, I had the opportunity to sit in an army tank. It was really exciting.

My second favorite event was with the American Red Cross supporting our troops. They had a beautiful ceremony and I was honored to be a part of it; to build a strong and caring community, volunteering is essential.  If we did not have volunteers to lend a helping hand, many of our great organizations would not exist.

I am involved on campus through the Leadership Roundtable Scholars, the Honors Program and the cheerleading team. Juggling all of this with school is the hardest part, but I prioritize my classes over other activities since education is extremely important to me. I am an active leader around campus, so keep an eye out for me.

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