Thursday, March 15, 2018

PageantLIVE Red Carpet Highlight: Ashley Vollrath, Miss Virginia USA 2018

Ashley Vollrath, Miss Virginia USA 2018

Claim to Fame:

I would say my ‘claim to fame’ would be my Instagram handle @AshweeAmanda. Many people know me from social media so they will refer to me as @AshweeAmanda when I see them out and about.

Fun fact about you:

My nickname growing up was “Girashley” because I was so tall and lanky.

If you have one wish to be granted in 2018, what is it and why?

I would wish that no child in this world would endure a life full of suffering. From hunger, neglect, abuse, illness or disability, I would wish that a solution was established to eliminate it.

Tell us about your platform or yourself, choose one or both.

My platform involves being a cheerleader, and my job is to encourage and motivate teenagers, and young adults, to never give up, and to “Spread Your Wings and (F)orever, (L)ove, (Y)ourself.”

I hope by telling my own personal story of the struggles I faced growing up, and how I was able to overcome them, I am able to motivate young people that may be facing the same type of struggles, to never give up and dream big. As a product of teenage pregnancy, my mom and I were forced to grow up together. I lived in 3 different States before I had turned 4 years old due to my mom’s military responsibilities and experienced divorce first hand.  My struggle with academics began in kindergarten. It’s hard to understand how one might fail finger painting, and basic addition, but I was not up to par with all of my peers.  I failed kindergarten and experienced defeat at just five years old. I was diagnosed with a mild learning disability and graduated in the bottom 25% of my high school class.

Shortly after high school, I started believing in myself, and everything changed. I am now a senior at Virginia Tech and after interviewing with all the top media outlets in the country, this past summer, I chose to intern for Comcast Sports Net, in Boston, reporting at the regional level because of my love for the Boston Red Sox. I love my story and I want to share it while encouraging others to “Spread Your Wings and F-L-Y.” 

As Miss Virginia USA, I have been able to tell my story and pave a path for so many young adults guiding them to their own success story.

What is your passion or interest outside pageantry?

Sports. I am a firm believer that sports make the world go round. I attribute sports for building me into the person I am today. Three adjectives that I use to describe myself; determined, hardworking and leader, are in my opinion, because of athletics. Additionally, my commitment to spectator sports formulated amazing friendships and taught me what good sportsmanship consisted of.

Where can we follow you on social media?

Personal accounts: 
Instagram: @ashweeamanda
Twitter: @AshweeAmanda
Snapchat: @Ashweeamanda

Miss Virginia accounts:
Facebook: @MissVirginiaUSA
Instagram: @missvausa
Twitter: @RealMissVAUSA 
Snapchat: @missvausa


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

PageantLIVE Red Carpet Highlight: Teuila Lafi, Worlds Preteen Miss Tourism 2018

Claim to fame:

In my first 2 national pageants, I won 1st runner-up for the Little Miss United States. Then, I won my 3rd national pageant in 2017. I was also a principle extra in the feature film, “Aloha.”

Fun fact about you:

A fun fact about me is that I understand 3 languages and speak fluently in 2 of them: English, Hawaiian, and Samoan.

If you have one wish to be granted in 2018, what is it and why?

I would love to be featured in New York Fashion Week 2018. I have always wanted to be a model and I enjoy being on the stage. This would be a great opportunity and experience to learn even more.

Tell us about your platform or yourself, choose one or both.

Operation Christmas Child is my platform. I love helping pack up shoe boxes to send to kids in Third World countries. For most of them, this is the first gift they have ever received in their life.

What is your passion or interest outside pageantry?

I love reading, acting, singing, dancing, riding horses and spending time with my family playing games or go to the beach.

Where can we follow you on social media?

Friday, February 2, 2018

PageantLIVE Red Carpet Highlight: Dani Walker, Miss Montana USA 2018

Dani Walker - Miss Montana USA 2018

Claim to Fame:

I am a pageant expert and creator of Youtube channel Pageant Access, which recently made the switch to

Fun fact about you:  

I am a huge UFC fan. If it weren’t for pageant expenses, I would be travelling the world to attend numerous fights. One of my bucket list goals is to watch one at Madison Square Garden. 

If you have one wish to be granted in 2018, what is it and why?

To be Miss Universe 2018. This is an obvious one, but it is at the top of my list because it would lead to the fulfilment of many other dreams, for myself and others. If this wish is granted, I will use my understanding of branding, and social media management, to bring relevancy to pageantry by strategically developing the Miss Universe title, into one of social influence. I have already successfully built a globally recognized Youtube channel, with the intention of making the skills, and benefits, of pageantry accessible to all women. I can, and will, do it for the Miss Universe organization, to begin a new era of growth and empowerment.

Tell us about your platform or yourself, choose one or both.

Many would not assume that I grew up with constant financial stress. My family struggled to afford food and rent. Experiencing living in a low-income, high-crime, neighborhood affected my worldview. When my mom had to ask friends for food, so I would not go hungry, I understood, and appreciated, basic necessities like food, water, shelter, and clothing. I recognized the need to help others living in similar situations, so I became an advocate for poverty. Since 2004 I have worked with over fifty non-profits to organize events, volunteer, or speak on behalf of our world’s poor. Poverty is a global issue, but progress is being made by coordination with communities and local non-profits, which offer services and resources. Whether I am selected as Miss USA or not, this is my life’s work, my true legacy. I will continue to champion this cause because loving one another is always worthwhile.

What is your passion or interest outside pageantry? 

I am a person that is easy to please. A day filled with dogs, food, and dancing is ideal for me. If I could adopt every dog in the world, and give them a loving home to share my snacks with, I would do it. I also grew up dancing and performing in musical theatre. In high school, I was even enrolled in a local college’s dance program and received a scholarship. Till this day, dance brings me happiness, because it is something I can share with others that brings joy to us both. 

Where can we follow you on social media?

My official Miss Montana USA pages are Miss Montana USA on Facebook, @missmtusa on Instagram, and @realmissmtusa on Twitter. 

My personal Facebook and Instagram pages are @daniwalker and @pageantaccess. For bonus points you can subscribe to my Youtube channel to watch my #roadtomissusa series, as well as a ton of personal and pageant related content, that is released every Wednesday!


Monday, January 15, 2018

PageantLIVE Red Carpet Highlight: Haley Jordan Dorsett, Mrs. Knox County Indiana 2018

Haley Jordan Dorsett - Mrs. Knox County Indiana 2018
Hometown: Vincennes, Indiana

Claim to Fame:

In my life, I have many things to be proud of. Behind all of the success is my husband; a strong, loving, US Army soldier. Being an Army wife can be a difficult thing at times. There are no perfect days, but there are perfect things that happen every day. I love Skyler more than anything in the world, and I love that he has served our country and continues to serve our country. Together, we have two beautiful children, Averly who is 6 and Marcus who is 2. Recently, our family has been blessed with a PTSD service dog from Dog’s Helping Heroes. Her name is Lyric, and she is a two-year-old Belgian Malinois.

Fun fact about you:  

Although many people argue that being double jointed isn’t real, I am actually able to portray many attributes that display otherwise. Due to extra elasticity in my muscles, ligaments, and joints, I am what some people would call double jointed!

If you had one wish to be granted in 2018, what is the wish and why? 

I would wish for health, happiness, and success for my family. We are always making memories together, but when everyone is happy, healthy, and successful, the memories we form are more meaningful!

Tell us about your pageant/industry or what you would people to know about your company/organization/platform or yourself.  

As Mrs. Knox County, I will represent Knox County for the first time at the Mrs. Indiana Pageant in South Bend, Indiana on April 21, 2018. If selected as the winner, I will go on to represent the state of Indiana at Mrs. America in August 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Mrs. America Pageant is a beauty competition that was established to honor married women throughout the United States of America. Each of the contestants representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia ranges in age from their 20s to 50s and earns the right to participate in the national event by winning her state competition. These state events are under the direction of Mrs. America state directors. The winner goes on to compete in the Mrs. World pageant.

My family and I currently reside in Vincennes, Indiana after being relocated due to my husband's military service in June of 2015. I am a Home Based Case Manager with Children and Family Services, am a Cardio Kickboxing Instructor and Ring Girl for American Karate Do Kickboxing, and a Team Leader for the March of Dimes, all in Vincennes. My husband is SSG Skyler Dorsett of the United States Army, and he is currently a recruiter after serving 6 years as an infantryman and deployed to Afghanistan twice, where he received a Purple Heart. Skyler and I have two children; Averly, a first-grade student at South Knox Elementary, who is 6, and Marcus, a student at Kingdom Kids Childcare Ministry, who is 2. We have also recently been blessed with receiving a service dog from Dog's Helping Heroes for Skyler named Lyric, who is a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois.

As Mrs. Knox County, I promote married women, family relationships, and give back to the community by volunteering at events and functions, going to parades and schools, and speaking to the media. It's a really great way for married women to get out in the community, represent their state, and give back to their hometown at the same time! My service is geared around my platform of "More Than Just an Army Wife", focusing on strengthening physical and mental health, strengthening families, and strengthening marriages.

A few of the events that I have participated in or will be participating in will be the Wreaths Across America at the Vincennes, Indiana cemeteries, the annual Christmas tree lighting on Main Street in Vincennes, Indiana, the annual Christmas parade in Paris, Illinois, and the March of Dimes- March for Babies event at Vincennes University in Vincennes, Indiana. Some past events that she attended were the Be at Ease event for Dogs Helping Heroes in Louisville, Kentucky, the Ride for a Cause event for Dogs Helping Heroes in Clarksville, Indiana, the Indiana Military Museum in Vincennes, Indiana on Veteran's Day, the Celebrity Chili Cook-Off with the United Way in Vincennes, Indiana, the Veteran’s Day Salute at North Knox High School with the United Way in Vincennes, Indiana, the American Karate Do Kickboxing MMA Veteran’s Day Bash at the Linton, Indiana National Guard Armory, the Vincennes Christmas Parade on Main Street in Vincennes, Indiana, and the Miss Vincennes University pageant in Vincennes, Indiana.

I have a wonderful group of sponsors as well! I am sponsored by American Karate Do Kickboxing of Vincennes, Indiana, Dogs Helping Heroes of Clarksville, Indiana, Capelli Salon of Terre Haute, Indiana, Magic Dreams Productions of Barrington, Illinois, Desert Rose Designs of Tucson, Arizona, and Ladies of Leadership with Crystal Cavey in Plano, Illinois.

What’s your passion/interest outside pageantry? 

Outside of pageantry, I enjoy my work both at Children and Family Services and American Karate Do Kickboxing. Being an inspiration and motivation to other women is, by no means, a “one size fits all” scenario. However, I inspire and motivate women by leading by example. I show them that no matter what obstacles may be in your path, dreams and goals can be achieved if you work for them. A perfect example of this would be in my cardio kickboxing class. As an instructor, it is important to take each woman’s abilities and goals into the mind and help them strive for 110%. I lead them by always being positive, and congratulating them on their successes. Sometimes a simple pat on the back or a “way to go” does more for women that can be seen by the eye.

I also love giving back to my community. As a team leader for the March of Dimes, I promote awareness and collect donations in order to educate others on the importance of understanding the severity of premature birth. As a mother to a child who was born nearly two months early, it is important to share our story if it helps another family. I also enjoy spending time with our Dogs Helping Heroes family by going to community outings and educating others about the importance behind the job of a service dog to a military member. Being a part of the action allows us to give back to the organization that blessed our family with Lyric to help my husband, Skyler.

Above all, spending time with my family is a must. We love going out to eat, playing at the park, going to theme parks and water parks, and going to the movies together! When we are together, we are always forming memories no matter what activity we may be doing. At such a young age, my children, Averly and Marcus, are very impressionable, and setting a good example for them to look up to is a must.

Where can we follow you on social media?

Please follow my journey to Mrs. Indiana America by visiting my Mrs. Knox County Indiana Facebook page. I have also set up an e-mail address in order to communicate with members of the community.

PageantLIVE Red Carpet Interview:

PageantLIVE Red Carpet Highlight Mrs. Knox County Indiana 2018

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Miss Nebraska USA Recap: Sarah Rose Summers Crowned!

Every now and then in theatre, things go awry, such as power outages during a show. Pageants are no different, especially when the production is being held in a ninety-one-year-old historic theatre building in downtown Omaha, Nebraska at the beautiful Rose Theatre. Sometimes they too, are faced with technical or in this case electrical difficulties.

A power outage occurred hours before the Miss Nebraska USA 2018 pageant on Sunday night. Contestants scrambled to get ready despite the mishap and made the best of the situation. Miss Nebraska USA, the final State pageant to the crown before the Vanbros 2018 class was complete.

Only a record seven contestants vied for the prestigious title to go on to compete at Miss USA on FOX, with returning 2016 second runner-up and Miss Nebraska Teen USA 2012 Sarah Rose Summers claiming the title. Even with very few girls competing nonetheless it was a tough competition. 

There was no announcement of a top 10, another first, as the audience anxiously awaited to see who would make the cut. Instead, all delegates went on to compete in swimsuit, and evening gown minus an intermission before they whittled it down to a final five. 

On stage question consisted of personality icebreakers and questions written by other contestants. Summers answer alluded to her advocacy of inspiration and motivation on social media, referencing "Mantra Mondays," she likes to post about. The eye-catching blonde wore a stunning red gown with a plunging neckline and floor-length train.

First Runner-up was Bree Coffey, who won the interview. Summers won the Swimsuit and Mentorship Awards. 

Composed, poised, and unabashedly confident, Summers took the title with ease and fulfilled one of her childhood dreams and adult goals- to be crowned Miss Nebraska USA. 

We are so excited to see what she does with the crown and look forward to following her journey to Miss USA!

By: Natalie Mc Govern

Disclaimer: Photo credit, Omaha World-Herald.


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Stand in Solidarity: Save the Miss America Sisterhood

A new petition has been started by Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan to stop the current Miss America board members from remaining in their positions of power. This includes the controversial decision to remove former Miss Americas who stood by Sam Haskell when he made knowingly vulgar comments about past winners and they stood by him, complicit.

All board members that stood by Sam Haskell need to go, was a statement adamantly reiterated in the petition.
The message rings loud and clear, "If people truly care about the program and its empowerment of women, then it must be a full turnover."

Mallory Hagan addressed the issue to viewers on Wednesday night via a Facebook Live video and relayed the turn of events, revealing former CEO Sam Haskell is still pulling the strings. In other words, a puppet leadership in the guise of a committee is being formed.

Instead of the current board gracefully stepping down, they are electing to appoint their own new leadership, while still having ties to the source of the problem. Mallory Hagan remarked it was insulting, and she wasn't born yesterday.

So hear this, fans and allies if you will, of Miss America: the committee is only being formed to appease and mitigate those on the side of resistance while a real power play is going down. The Miss America Organization sacrificed their lucrative partnership with Dick Clark Productions in efforts to save their own hide, essentially. They said nothing for 24 hours and got caught, but thought they could weather the storm.

"I am the storm," Mallory told viewers in her video and pointedly looking at the camera to capture the attention of the board. "You're not weathering it."

Former Miss Americas are speaking out once again on this issue including state, local, and former Miss Americas against the current remaining board and calling for their removal. 

Please listen. Speak out. Make your voice heard.

Many Forever Miss Americas reported that their careers had been stalled or derailed post the crown. Betty Cantrell had spoken out on her Instagram live video stating that numerous career opportunities had been sabotaged by the Miss America leadership, as well as Teresa Scanlan. Mallory Hagan was ostracized in the pageant community when she started her pageant coaching business.

According to recent developments, many people have come forward with information that they were not allowed to associate or told not to have contact with Mallory Hagan, including personnel from the Miss Nebraska Organization.

Ostracism has indeed shamefully run rampant under the current form of leadership, from the local to the executive level.

Once again, this is a call to action to not only create change but to demand it. All board members complicit in Sam Haskell and the executive leadership's behaviour need to be removed. A shadow leadership is not what Miss America needs in this dire hour.

To support this petition, and the women affected by this polarizing leadership, please follow the link and sign here: PETITION

By: Natalie McGovern

Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Miss America Revolution, What Happens Next?

The first protest that changed Miss America was in 1968. Archived. Getty Images

The breaking news of 49 past Miss Americas have given their voice on a petition to oust Miss America CEO Sam Haskell, and he has officially resigned along with several other board members, and president Josh Randle. 

Personal attacks were made on former winners and disparaging comments were made about their weight, intellect and personal lives.

On Friday, Mallory Hagan appeared on The Today Show and said she felt validated that these allegations have finally come to light. In an Instagram Live video, Miss America 2015 Betty Cantrell attested to being blackballed by the Miss America leadership and having numerous opportunities thwarted that were in the works after her reign. She too felt validated that the truth could come out.

I have personally experienced at the local Miss America Organization level the ostracization and defamation that these Miss Americas speak of. In 2012 I won a local title that I was stripped of due to being too old after I was allowed by directors to compete with three locals. I had to fight to protect my reputation and clear my name. Ironically they just unofficially changed the age requirement to 25, by the way. Five years too late, after I first addressed it to the board immediately and my request to amend the age was without a doubt ignored by the Miss America executive leadership. 

There was undoubtedly an underlying, inherent flaw in this leadership at this level, and now that it has been exposed we anticipate wrongs can be amended in every capacity as we move forward in a new direction for Miss America, an organization of service, achievement and women empowerment.

In an organization that purports to empower, news of the email scandal was a blow to equality and the headway that was being made with women in society.

In male-dominated industries, women have had to live in a pervasive fear culture of harassment for fear of speaking out about the injustices they've been subjected to.

Miss America past and present sisters stood together in our efforts to incite change and a new direction where we can be valued and truly appreciated not only as representatives of the organization but as individuals. Together we unified to call to action change and redirection of an organization we have poured our heart and soul into.

Now, we as the Miss America sisterhood need to cultivate a culture of edifying and supporting our sisters and woman as a whole. Especially those that have been ostracized and scandalized or victims of abuse. Long gone are the days of tolerating the culture of bullying and misogyny in an organization created to uplift women.

A female CEO for Miss America, anyone?

By: Natalie McGovern
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