Alesha Knight 2019 Pure International Classy Ms. America
World Class Beauty Queens Magazine would like to welcome amazing Queen Alesha Knight 2019 Pure International Classy Ms. America.
Full name: Alesha Knight
Title/Year: 2019 Pure International Classy Ms. America
Pageant System: Pure International Pageants
Zodiac sign: Virgo
Hobbies: Yoga, Water aerobics, shopping, traveling, watching period movies/tv
Platform: Community service; I have a passion for helping young people realize that they can achieve more than their present circumstances may allow them to believe they can. I want them to dream big and never put a time frame on their dream. I also want adults of all ages to continue to challenge themselves - to step outside their comfort zone and try new things. As young people, we do this often. We go to new schools, meet new people, get new jobs, etc. After a certain age, we get complacent and get in a rut. To stay active and continue to have goals to strive for means to stay young.
Years competed: This was my first pageant since I was 19 years old
Countries visited: Italy, France, England, Ireland, Scotland, the Bahamas
Likes: New York City, Hallmark Christmas movies, our family traditions and all things that glitter
Dislikes: peaches, watermelon, and most bugs of any type
Status: Married to my husband, Preston, for 25 years.
World Class Beauty Queens: Please tell us about yourself.
My husband, Preston, and I live in Corinth, Mississippi. We have two beautiful daughters, Emma and Olivia, and a Yorkie, Bentley. Emma is 21 and a senior at the University of North Alabama. Olivia, 18, is a senior at Corinth High School. My college degree is a Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Mississippi. But in 2007, I went back and got my alternate teaching license and have been teaching math (Calculus, College Algebra, College Trig) at the high school level now for 13 years. I earned my Master's Degree in Curriculum & Instruction with emphasis in Secondary Math in 2014. I love spending time with my family and getting to support my girls in all they do.
World Class Beauty Queens: What does women Empowerment means to you?
Women empowerment means a variety of things to me. It means instilling confidence, strength, and a since of independence into our young girls. All young ladies should feel as if they can have dreams or goals and be encouraged to achieve those dreams no matter what obstacles might appear to be in their way.
World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about your pageant history.
Most of my pageant experienced was in school pageants. I only ever made the top 5 one time. I never dreamed I could win a local title, much less a national one. The last time I was in a pageant was almost thirty years ago. After some encouraging from my daughter, Olivia, and hearing about the Pure International Pageant system, I contacted Mrs. Pat Miller about the Mississippi title. It was available, and I went, at-large, as Classy Ms. Mississippi to compete for the National title in Orlando, Florida, last summer where I won the crown and title Pure International Classy Ms America.
World Class Beauty Queens: What inspired you to do your first pageant?
Watching Miss America and Miss USA while growing up was like the Super Bowl in our house. My first pageant was a school pageant when I was in the 8th grade. I happen to place in the top 10. The school that I attended had a junior high beauty pageant for 8th and 9th graders only. So it was only natural that I would participate as part of our school tradition.
World Class Beauty Queens: Why did you choose to compete for your current title?
Having not done a pageant since I was 19, I thought that those days were behind me. Doing a pageant at my age was not something that I had even considered. However, my daughter, Olivia, had asked me on many occasions to do a pageant with her. After learning about Pure International Pageants, I fell in love with their purpose and mission and couldn't wait to be part of such an amazing system.
World Class Beauty Queens: To those unfamiliar with your pageant system please tell us what is it about?
Pure International Pageants is Family-Focus, Faith-Based, and Community Service Driven. It was started by the Miller Family from the Columbus, Ohio, area. Although it is a fairly young pageant (celebrating its 10th national pageant next year), it has already received numerous awards and is recognized as one of the top International Pageant systems. Pure welcomes all women. For example, contestants for the three divisions of Miss, Ms., and Classy Ms. can be married, divorced, single, or widowed. Many young pageant ladies think that once they are married or have children can only compete in a Mrs. division. That's not true at Pure.
World Class Beauty Queens: What are you being judged on during the competition?
When competing for Pure at the state level, contestants are judged on interview (round robin), evening wear, and fun fashion modeling. There are optional competitions as well. At the National level, we will be judged on evening wear, interview, and state costume. At the International level, it is the same as Nationals but a national costume.
World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about your experience during the competition.
After arriving at the National Pageant, it did not take long for me to become impressed with how well the entire event was organized. The Miller family definitely knows how to put on a first class pageant. All events ran on-time. The staging was beautiful, and all the information and expectations were made clear to all the contestants. There were three separate pageants going on within the same timeframe, and everything ran like clock work. The staff and all contestants were so kind and helpful throughout the entire week. I look forward to returning to compete for International Classy Ms. in July 2020.
World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about your platform or what cause do you volunteer for.
My platform is community service and giving back. For the past two years, I have been the advisor to the Corinth Crown Club. This is an organization for local area high school girls. This group of 20 - 25 girls meets monthly and decide how they can impact their community. The girls decide on the project and then organize it. The first year, we renovated a room in a local children's home. The second year, the girls wanted to have duffle bags, blankets and stuffed animals available for the children who are removed from their homes by DHS. The bags were put assembled and taken to the Office of Human Services so they could be given to the children when needed. I've thoroughly enjoyed getting to know this special group of girls and have been so impressed with their desire to help others.
World Class Beauty Queens: What appearances have you done with your title?
As Pure International Classy Ms. America, I have had the opportunity to make several local appearances. I was asked to speak at a meeting of the local Kiwanis Club, make a presentation at the annual Slugburger "Slug Voice" competition, judged numerous pageants, and carried cookies to the local fire departments and ACE Power offices after a severe storm devastated our community and caused a power outage for many days. My daughter, Olivia, and I even organize and our own charity fundraising event, "Fashion, Food, and Philanthropy" - a fashion show luncheon to benefit local charities.
World Class Beauty Queens: What are some of your achievements?
I am very proud of the fact that I have been married to my husband, Preston, for 25 years, and we have two beautiful daughters. They are both smart and accomplished young women. In my early 40's, I went back to school to get my masters degree. One piece of trivia that most people do not know about me is that I also have a brown belt in Taekwondo.
World Class Beauty Queens: What makes you stand out from all those other beautiful girls?
After much thought, I would say my ability to speak in front of others. Through my jobs and volunteer opportunities, I have had a lot of experience speaking in front of crowds. Because of this, I do not get particularly nervous at the thought of getting on stage or talking to judges in an interview.
World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about the moment your name was called out as the winner.
That moment still is so surreal. It was like a dream come true. I kept thinking how exciting this would be - a teenager's dream come true. In addition to that I knew that I would have the opportunity to serve with my daughter, as my sister queen for the next year. That was the icing on the cake.
World Class Beauty Queens: What does it mean to you to be a Beauty Queen?
Being a Beauty Queen means that I was chosen to be an ambassador for Pure International Pageants and to represent them and all for which they stand. I've always heard the phrase, "Wear your invisible crown every day." Now, I can honestly say that I know what that means and how important that phrase really is. No matter where I am or what I am doing, I want to always be the best representation of what it means to be a Pure Queen. I always strive to have a positive impact on those around me daily.
World Class Beauty Queens: How did competing in pageants helped your life?
Competing in pageants is a result of my love of all things associated with pageants. When my daughter approached me about doing pageants, I did not hesitate to let her. I see those young ladies on the local and national stages and know how much work and effort goes into competing. It's not just about putting on a beautiful gown and getting hair and make-up done. It's a commitment to hone your craft as in any other endeavor. I admire these young women for putting themselves out there to be critiqued and judged all the while feeling beautiful and knowing they brought the best of themselves. It take courage and strength to do that. Pageants are not for the faint of heart. It has given me courage, strength and confidence, and I have tried to pass that along to both of my girls.
World Class Beauty Queens: How did pageants helped your self esteem and body image?
Because I am not one who likes to be in pictures, all these photo sessions are new to me. As a result, I find myself being critical of my body as I look at them. However, not critical in a bad sense but rather one that causes me to stop and reflect and make improvements. One of the biggest correction about my body, that I have seen the need to improve, is my posture. I never realized, until I saw videos and photos of myself, how poor my posture had become. Seeing yourself in photos isn't all about vanity or trying to achieve the unattainable. It can be used for growth. Athletes watch films of themselves to find areas of necessary improvement. Dancers practice in front of mirrors to notice every small detail and make adjustments. If done with the correct mindset, looking at yourself in pictures can help to improve your self-esteem and body image, and as a result, help you to put your best foot forward as your represent yourself and your pageant system.
World Class Beauty Queens: You are an inspiration to all the girls out there. How does it feel?
Being an inspiration to others is such an awesome responsibility. I hope that I am an inspiration to other women of my age who believe, mistakenly, that the best years are behind them. That is not true! I want them to know that there is no time limit on dreams. In fact, with our experience and wisdom, sometimes the dream is more attainable now than it was twenty years ago. Just because a goal was not achieved in our twenties, doesn't mean that it still cannot be realized. I want to inspire other women to think to themselves, "What have I done lately that's taken me outside my comfort zone?" and go for it. Do you want to go back to school, walk in your first 5k, join a gym, learn to sew or cook? Never let fear hold you back. You might be passing up on a blessing.
World Class Beauty Queens: What is your on stage strategy to win the judges over?
I know this sounds cliche', but on stage, I am just going to be myself. I try to be relaxed, greet the judges with my eyes and my smile like I am being introduced as new friends. I just be as natural as possible.
World Class Beauty Queens: How did you prepare for your competition?
In preparing for the competition, I did not have any one coach work with me personally. I honestly think the years and years of watching pageants and going to coaching sessions with Olivia helped me to pick up on a lot of specific walks, poses, etc. I did watch several Lu Sierra videos on YouTube and practiced a lot with my daughter on a local stage. Olivia was more than willing to give me advise on what I was not doing correctly. We had lots of fun.
World Class Beauty Queens: What are your tips for learning better pageant walk?
For me, I watched a lot of videos of pageant coaches and actual competitions to see what ladies are doing that sets the winners apart from the others. Often, the differences are in the finest of details. So, I tried to find a walk with which I felt comfortable and was appropriate for me. Then practice, practice, practice - especially in front of a mirror and on a stage, if you have access to one. If you do not practice to the point of the walk being muscle memory, as your nerves take over at the competition, you are not likely to remember how to turn, place your hands, or look at the judges. Taking videos and watching those videos is very important so you can see what you look like and how you present yourself on stage. Again, that idea of self-reflection and improvement.
World Class Beauty Queens: What are your tips for choosing right pageant dress?
If you have not tried on different styles of dresses and fabric types, that's always a good idea. Have people with you that will be honest and give feedback about what style is most flattering to your body. It is not about have the perfect body. The most important aspect to picking a dress is to select one that flatters you and reflects your personal style. You should feel confident and beautiful. Keep in mind the appropriateness of the dress for the age and type of pageant you are entering. For me, it's not about the cost of the dress. You should wear the dress. The dress should not wear you.
World Class Beauty Queens: What are your tips for winning interview?
Remember that judges are people too. I want to make them feel comfortable and find me easy with which to carry on a conversation. Eye contact is extremely important as well. Know what will be asked in the interview and make sure you are prepared. If your system focuses on current events, read all that you can about what's going on in the news. If community service is important, be prepared to answer questions about how you give back. Do your homework, but do not sound rehearsed.
World Class Beauty Queens: What is one mistake that you've done during competing you wish you could redo and fix it?
During the National Pageant last summer, I did not choose to participate in any of the on-stage optionals. Although I did win the crown, I realize now that I should have taken advantage of just being able to walk and present myself on that stage. Being comfortable in the environment in which you are competing is so important. I do plan on participating in some of those optional competitions next summer at Internationals.
World Class Beauty Queens: What other mistakes are made by girls during the contest?
I believe that a common mistake made by others is not coming in prepared. Many people underestimate the amount of work it takes to be fully prepared for a pageant. As I mentioned earlier, practice to the point that your body can do the walk automatically. Be up to speed on current events if that is part of the interview. Try on every single outfit in its entirety. Clothes that do not fit properly need to be altered. Practice how you want your hair and make-up done for each area of judging. Be on point with how you look and act at all times at the pageant. Always look and act your best no matter where you go in the hotel or venue. You never know who is around watching you or listening. Perhaps the most important piece of advice is to be kind to everyone, including the family who came to support you. Yes, the competition gets stressful, but that is no excuse to treat others with disrespect. It could even paint you in a bad light. The pageant owners do not want someone representing them who cannot be trusted to act with respect towards everyone they meet.
World Class Beauty Queens: Any modeling or acting experience?
I've only had very limited modeling and acting experience, and it's been on a local level. I have modeled in the past for local boutique advertisements and acted in my church's Easter program.
World Class Beauty Queens: What are your plans for 2020 as a Queen?
My plans include continuing to promote Pure International Pageants by attending events and making appearances. The Pure State Pageant for Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee are being held in my hometown on January 4. That's exciting. I cannot wait! I want to take in every minute and enjoy all of it. Of course, I have already begun preparing for the Pure International Pageant located in Columbus, Ohio, next July.
World Class Beauty Queens: What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?
The only way to leave a true legacy is to positively impact the lives of others. It is not about us, but rather how we served others. I much prefer that others remember how I made them feel and that I reflected the love of Jesus Christ in all I did and said.
International Director: Mrs. Pat Miller
National Director: Mrs. Pat Miller
Your Local Director: Mrs. Pat Miller and Ms. Christine Pawley
Pageant website: www.pureinternationalpageants.com
World Class Beauty Queens Magazine would like to say thank you for this amazing interview.
Alesha Knight 2019 Pure International Classy Ms. America, World Class Beauty Queens Magazine, Dark backdrop Photo by TeeRage Portraits, White backdrop photo by Elizabeth Clary Photography
Interview by Derek Tokarzewski Owner/Editor in Chief Mr United Nations 2018 Platform: Women Empowerment Ambassador to International Foundation for Orphans iffocares.org
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