Miss Kent County 2010
For those of you who I have not been able to talk to over the past few months, you may not know that I was struggling with the decision to or not to compete for Miss Delaware this year. My college had informed me that my full scholarship was non-renewable, and expires on my 23rd birthday. This would mean that if I were to win Miss Delaware 2010 I would sacrifice my last year of a full tuition scholarship, to be able to fulfill my lifelong dream.
I spent months (literally), going back and forth about whether or not I should compete for Miss Delaware again. There was not a day that went by that I didn't think about it. I called my friends, former local directors and titleholders and family to help me weigh out all of my options. I felt crushed knowing that I could be sacrificing a full scholarship to attend a wonderful private school that I could not otherwise afford, or sacrificing the opportunity to live out my dream.
As you may know now, I decided about TWO weeks ago that I needed and wanted to compete again this year. I knew there were very few local pageants left, and I was so fortunate that one was being held that Saturday (just a few days later). I called my dear friends Julia, Julie, Chris, Brittany and Laura after talking to my parents about my decision- so that everyone could know that I had essentially changed my mind.
After emailing and writing back and forth to my Alopecia penpals across the country, and hearing how proud they are of me and how supportive they were of whatever decision I made, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. It warms my heart to know that whether I place in the top 5 at Miss Delaware or not, I have girls with Alopecia who are proud of me for just having the confidence to compete. Every year, the Alopecia community has supported and embraced me on my journey to becoming Miss Delaware- with and without a wig. I was told recently by a young girl with Alopecia that I am her hero whether I win Miss Delaware or not. This was a defining moment for me, and I knew that I should not let any opportunity to live out my dream, pass me by.
And SO, I competed for Miss Kent County March 7th because it was the very next local pageant. The competition was tough, and I was unsure of what the outcome would be. I danced to Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel" and had such a great time being back on the stage. At the end of the night Erin Magnin was announced as 1st Runner Up, and my name was called as Miss Kent County 2010. I am so excited to start preparing for Miss Delaware RIGHT AWAY!!!! And I am honored to be following in the footsteps of one of my closest friends, Miss Kent County 2009, Julia Fuller (1st RU to Miss Delaware 2008 and 4th RU to Miss Delaware 2009). I have VERY big shoes to fill, but I am up for the challenge :) AND it is Julia's birthday today!!! SO don't forget to wish her a happy birthday!
Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me throughout the years, and to all my Miss Delaware friends for supporting my last minute decision to compete. I promise I will make Kent County, and all of you proud in June!
Posted by Kayla Martell