Inspiring Words From The North Dakota United States Pageant Titleholders

Posted by Kayla Cote on

Tips To Help You Achieve Your Dreams, and do it in S-T-Y-L-E! 

We've all had moments where we get sidetracked with stress, worries, self defeat and many other roadblocks that keep us from accomplishing our goals and dreams. I'm here, with a few words from Miss North Dakota United States and Miss Teen North Dakota United States, to share a bit of inspiration today to help take on your week and start making your dreams reality. 

Meet Our Guests

Miss North Dakota United States, Emily Simmons

Emily Simmons

Emily, 22, works as a Hospice nurse in Grand Forks North Dakota. She comes from a large family having five brothers and three sisters. Emily's personal platform is Kids in Crisis, which works with the Ronald Mcdonald House Charities and Together We Rise, which aids foster kids. 

Follow her on instagram @missndus

Miss Teen North Dakota United States Shawnee Kaseman

Shawnee Kaseman

Shawnee, 16, is going into her senior year of High School in Wishek, North Dakota. She also comes from a large family, with 12 aunts and uncles on her Dad's side. Her personal platforms are Spot and Stop Child Abuse, and Together We Rise, Sweet Case and Project Linus

Follow her on Instagram @missteenndus

About Miss North Dakota United States 

The Miss North Dakota United States Organization supports the Ronald McDonald House Charity as well as personal platforms of each of the titleholders. The platform puts a strong focus on philanthropy as well as personal development, public speaking and talent for each of the contenders. 

When I asked the girls what inspired them to start competing in pageants, they both had a similar story. Originally they used it as an outlet for their talents, but as they got more in depth, the realized it could become a way of making a difference in their community. 

A Unique Connection 

Emily and Shawnee have a unique bond, and have grown closer throughout the past 5 years not only in pageant life, but as family. 

"Most titleholders, teen and miss, meet each other at the pageant when they get their titles. Our brother and sister are married, so we've known each other for 5 years. It's a really special connection we've had."
- Emily Simmons


Finding Self Confidence and Empowerment Through Pageants 

I asked each of the girls this question: How has the experience of being a part of this Pageant changed your life for the better?

Emily said, "I started when I was 16 and I was at an age where I wasn't necessarily very confident in myself and being uniquely myself. I had a lot of different interests than people my age, and it just really gave me that boost to know..."

"'s ok that you're different. It's ok to do what you want to do with your life even if it's not what the majority is doing."

She also went on to say that competing has helped her with her public speaking skills, as well as helped to find a new purpose in life through work in the community. 

"The more you work in the community, it also gives back and makes you feel like you have such a purpose in your life." 

Shawnee also spoke about how the pageant helped her conquer her shyness and helped her public speaking.

"I use to be very shy, even before I started doing pageants. I could not talk to anybody and now it's just helped me so much with my speaking abilities and everything. I definitely think that it's probably one of the most rewarding things that I've gained through this experience."


Conquering The Challenge Of Putting Yourself Out There 

It's no secret that putting yourself out there can be extremely difficult, yet when you do it helps you build confidence and grow as a person. I asked the ladies what their biggest challenges were. Shawnee challenged her shyness and learned from having to answer questions in front of an audience. 

"On stage question is not easy, and I definitely think it's prepared me for what's ahead."

Emily opened up about how it challenged her to be vulnerable.  

"It was scary to start, because you're putting yourself out there. It's not like a team sport where you rise as a team or you fall as a team. It's all you and your personality and will the judges like you. You're letting yourself be judged."

The Takeaway

The girls reminded me that although winning is a great feeling, there's so much more takeaway than just that.

"Even if you fail but you give it your all and at the end of the day you're ok with yourself and happy with who you are it's an amazing feeling."

- Emily

"It's very important to be yourself, and just have fun. If you do compete and end up winning a state title, or even a pre-lim title, just embrace the year because it's all about the community work."

- Shawnee 

"If you go in with the only expectation or goal to win, you may not get the most out of the experience because at the end of the day there's only one winner - Just getting on that stage is an accomplishment in and of itself."

- Emily 

be yourself

Whether it be a pageant or any other goal you set before yourself. Remember to enjoy the process, give it your all and stay positive i your journey. Embrace the trials as well as the triumphs and remember that no matter if you win or loose, you can choose to celebrate the experience, grow in yourself and take on challenges. 

Want to Hear More?

Check out my 20 minute conversation with Emily and Shawnee here! And watch them as they compete in the Miss United States Pageant this week here!






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