Briefly describe your daily job duties.
As Miss Plano, I am a speaker, performer, and advocate for my social impact initiative, “Live Fearless: Defining Life Without Limits.” I speak frequently on my journey competing and finding success in the Miss America Organization, a competition centralized around public speaking. I am also the founder of “The Live Fearless Foundation,” a charitable organization that brings character education and scholarship opportunities to students fearlessly seeking a higher education despite the adversity they may face in their own lives.
Along with the “Live Fearless Foundation,” I have created an online blog and podcast named “The Fearless Files,” dedicated to encouraging EVERYONE to find comfort outside of their comfort zone! And in June of 2021, I will go onto compete for the title of Miss Texas!
As a person who stutters, share the most challenging part of your job.
As a public speaker and stutterer, maintaining confidence consistently is by far the most challenging aspect of my job! As cliché as it sounds, I question myself, my skillset, and my own capabilities often! Each time, I remind myself how important it is to recognize, that as individuals we are allowed to be a work in progress and a finished product at the same time! Celebrate how far you have come, while continuing to grow into the person you aspire to be!
Did you self-disclose your stuttering during the job hiring process?
I began competing in the Miss America Organization when I was 14 years old. At the time, I did NOT disclose my stutter when competing, but my nerves in the high stress environment got the best of me, and I stuttered throughout the competition! After 2 years of competing, hiding behind my speech impediment, I became conscious of the fact that stuttering was and is the quality that makes me unique! Instead of concealing my “secret,” I sought to change the stereotype behind stuttering and created a social impact initiative in an effort to encourage everyone to embrace their OWN challenges and turn them into success stories!
Describe how stuttering makes you a better, more valued contributor at work.
I never take words for granted. Each speech, appearance, and conversation I participate in is intentional! As Miss Plano, I am aware of the power that words and articulate communication can have on a person and I work tirelessly to ensure EVERYONE feels seen for who they are. I strive to make every interaction with another human being impactful and purposeful. Stuttering has forced me to work harder, dream bigger, and become a stronger communicator!
What is your proudest moment at your current company?
In June of 2019, at the age of 17, I was named 2nd-Runner Up to the title of Miss Texas 2019. I was also awarded an overall preliminary talent award, Rookie Onstage Interview Award, and was named a “Top 10 Interview.” As the youngest in the competition, I was awarded over $7,000 in scholarship funds!
What are your long-term career aspirations?
I am currently pursuing my Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in Music Theatre at Oklahoma City University and aspire to one day perform on Broadway!! I also intend to be the first Miss America with a stutter! I hope to inspire millions of stutterers worldwide to share their voice, pursue their dreams, and find strength in taking risks!
What’s your best advice for people who stutter just entering the workplace and for those in a career striving to achieve greater success?
Nothing worth having comes from a comfort zone. As a person who stutters, use your experience overcoming adversity to your advantage. Try something new. Be bold. Take risks! Success is born out of consistent confidence in YOUR abilities. Regardless of the severity of your stutter, know this: your presence defines you before you open your mouth to speak! Stay confident in your ability to communicate effectively and take every opportunity to grow along the way!