In January, Kamryn Blackwood walked into her first official beauty pageant as a relatively unknown newcomer to the pageant community and walked out with the title of Miss New Mexico 2014.
For some women, competing in beauty pageants begins in childhood, but for Blackwood, the dream to become Miss New Mexico started about a year and a half ago.
Blackwood had been thinking about joining the pageant si
“I was watching Miss USA with my dad and I thought it seemed kind of fun,” said Blackwood. “I asked my dad and he said that I needed to focus on school and tennis, but when I came back home during winter break 2012, I saw Miss Universe and said, ‘No, Dad, I really want to do this.’”
For Blackwood, training for Miss New Mexico became a year-long process. She learned all the systems and techniques that go into competing, including how to properly answer questions.
“It was difficult because I was totally out of my element and had never done this before. I just thought I was going to walk in there and wing it but absolutely not,” said Blackwood. “There are a lot of little things that make it into a complete package.”
Blackwood said all the experience she has had speaking in public as a member of Razor’s Edge and President’s 64 helped her during the process.
“I took everything from NSU. That’s the great part about it because this school gives a great foundation for people to step out into the real world,” said Blackwood.
Now Blackwood’s biggest challenge will be finding a way to balance her school work, her role on NSU’s women’s tennis team, and the responsibilities that come with her title.
Some of those responsibilities include working with Miss New Mexico program directors, attending charity and government events, and being an ambassador for the state.
“Making myself really known is the biggest thing and just getting recognition for the Miss USA pageant. Also, if there is something with the state government or legislature, I have to fly back and meet with them,” said Blackwood.
As her platform for Miss New Mexico, Blackwood is trying to raise breast cancer awareness throughout the state. She is also on the board for the National Day of Care, an international organization that partners with the country of Kenya to build homes for widows.
As part of this organization, Blackwood went on a mission trip to Kenya last summer with a team who helped built 10 homes and brought medical aid to windows and orphans.
“It was a life-changing experience. It was very emotional, and it made me realize that I shouldn’t take my life for granted,” said Blackwood.
Blackwood will compete in the Miss USA pageant in June. If she wins, she will represent the U.S. in the Miss Universe pageant at the end of the year.