Dr. S. Kennedy Hill-Garcia, PhD. Mrs. International Beauty 2021
World Class Beauty Queens Magazine would like to welcome amazing Queen Dr. S. Kennedy Hill-Garcia, PhD. Mrs. International Beauty 2021.
Full name: Dr. S. Kennedy Hill-Garcia, PhD. Title/Year: Mrs. International Beauty 2021 Pageant System: Ms. America / Ms. International Age: 46 Education Level: Doctorate Zodiac sign: Capricorn Hobbies: Driving for show and putting dough on the links, Equipping the youth to live their dream & Watching touchdowns and dancing with trees at my alma matter! Platform: InfluenceHER - Creating a legacy of confident, healthy, purpose driven female leaders through mentorship & advocacy. Years competed: Teen - 3yrs, Miss - 1yr, Mrs. - 5yrs. Countries visited: Australia, Canada, Germany, United Arab Emirates Likes: Ocean views, Quiet time with Jesus, Couture Gowns, Designer RTW fashion, Vegan cupcakes & shortbread cookies Dislikes: Grouchy people, negativity, Status: Married for 17+ years. World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: Please tell us about yourself. I am Dr. Kennedy Garcia, transforming lives everyday while wearing a crown figuratively and sometimes literally as a former 6x titleholder. I am on an unwavering mission to be a catalyst for moving people from surviving-to-thriving and to see the world transformed through the influence of the modern day Queen. A Stanford graduate with a profound love for God, I am is a servant leader & trailblazer who continually lights the pathway for others to follow. Named a Corporate Game-Changer, by the Professional Business Women Association of California for the impact I make in my role as a national healthcare executive, I’ve also earned over a dozen honors including 3 Presidential Service Awards from The White House for outstanding mentorship, mental health advocacy and philanthropic efforts which include funding collegiate scholarships for underrepresented students. Motivated by the purpose of wanting every woman to know she was born to reign, I founded Spiritual Boss Chick, a faith centered coaching platform helping others reach their full potential and crush opportunities beyond what they once thought possible. My firms Beyond The Crown program has produced winning results for numerous women around the globe from CEO’s to Miss Universe Contestants and has widely contributed to me being a highly sought after International Coach, Advisor, Speaker & Pageant Judge. One of my personal beliefs is that women & girls in pageantry have a powerful platform and I encourage, empower, equip and challenge them to use it for God's glory. You can find me on numerous stages, television networks and as the host of the new podcast, Your Crown is Calling, leveraging stories of perseverance & success to educate the masses on what it takes to truly manifest their greatness and reign in life. World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: Please tell us about your education. Dual BS. Chemical Engineering/Computer Science,
MS. Public Policy,
World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: What does women Empowerment means to you? Empowerment means that a person has been given (or figured out on their own) the means to achieve something. Feeling empowered can makes us stronger, more confident, able to take control of our life, and to also be an advocate for ourselves. World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: Tell us about your pageant history. I was a scholar athlete for many years and decided in my senior year of high school to compete in my first pageant. I had no clue what I was doing or what to expect but caught on quickly and ended up winning and became the first woman of color to be crowned Miss Vacaville Teen which was a preliminary to the America’s Teen pageant (MAO). That year I went on to win Miss Solano County Teen and place top 15 in California Teen. I was 16yrs old and headed off to college so although I had definitely been bit by the Pageant Girl bug, being a double major in Chemical Engineering and Computer Science required focus and I didn’t step on another pageant stage until 20yrs later. I have competed in 8 pageants in the Mrs. Division, winning 4 so far. I have had the honor of being crowned Mrs. Northern Sierra 2019, Mrs. California USA Ambassador 2019, Mrs. California USA 2020 and Mrs. International Beauty 2021. I have loved this industry for over 30yrs of my life and it is now my absolute pleasure to serve as a mentor, judge and international coach. World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: What inspired you to do your first pageant? I was a 15yr old senior in high school on a path to being a first person in my house to attend a 4yr university. I knew that I didn’t want my collegiate experience to be dependent on my athleticism. I already had numerous academic scholarships but thought it wouldn’t hurt to add to those offers so what inspired me initially was the appeal of competing in a pageant to win the scholarship that came with the prize package. It wasn’t until I actually competed that I learned all of the additional benefits of pageantry. World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: Why did you choose to compete for your current title? As a healthcare executive that spent 14hr days working to ensure laws, regulation and guidance from the CDC was implemented appropriately across the country during the pandemic, I just needed something fun that would challenge me in a different way. My friends kept asking when I was planning to compete again and I would give them the old “ I'm retired” response. I meant it, on most days. I also knew that winning an “international title” was on my bucket list and I felt like I was up for the challenge. After having a few conversations with Susan Jeske I knew the Ms. America / Ms. International system was the right system in this season of my life. It was important for me to find a system where the Director was supportive but not overbearing, the women were serious competitors but still sweet and the pageant would be a live production instead of a virtual competition. We started with 25 beautiful and accomplished women, then 15 competed in the finals and 4 were crowned winners in Lake Forest, California. World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: To those unfamiliar with your pageant system please tell us what is it about? The Ms. America / Ms. International system is about celebrating accomplishments, beauty and service of women 26 years of age and up who are single, divorced, married, widowed, with or without children. There are usually a ton of highly competitive women in pageantry vying for the coveted Ms. America, USA International Ms., Ms. International Beauty, Mrs. International Beauty and Ms. International titles offered through this competition. World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: What are you being judged on during the competition? Interview, Introduction, Evening Gown, On-Stage Question & Sports Wear World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: Tell us about your experience during the competition. My experience competing in this pageant was phenomenal. It was a well organized, timely and beautiful production that will forever be etched in my memory. The women were so sweet. There was a gift exchange among the contestants and you could just feel good energy backstage. I truly believe that everyone there enjoyed the experience and that was reflected both on and off the stage. World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: Tell us about your platform or what cause do you volunteer for. I have been a mental health advocate and mentor for over 14yrs. The hardest conversation I’ve ever had was with a parent who lost a child to suicide. My platform “InfluenceHER” aims to eliminate root causes that lead to hopelessness and self harm by helping girls imagine and access all they can become through mentorship focused on optimizing their potential. I utilize my superpower everyday as a mentor to hundreds of girls at my very own non-profit organization, The Dream Academy by Spiritual Boss Chick. In addition to the organization I founded I also sit on the board and participate in various organizations across the country like; Girls Inc., Femwinism, Big Brother Big Sister, Drug Free World and the Tori Burch Foundation to directly equip girls with positive life skills and partner to create solutions that position them for success. I am extremely passionate about addressing root causes that lead to suicide and dedicated to advocating for expanded mental health access for our youth which is why I continue to collaborate with legislators, community & healthcare leaders to develop comprehensive programs that support survivors of suicide loss. As a Mental Health First Aider and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Ambassador I have personally raised over 50K and facilitated hundreds of community events to spread mental health first aid strategies to parents, educators, communities & public leaders. World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: What appearances have you done with your title? While holding the title of Mrs. International Beauty I have been an extremely busy woman! Every third Wednesday you can catch me appearing at the Win With Women Femwinism female empowerment events. I have organized a team and led 4 Out of the Darkness Walks to raise awareness and funds to end suicide. My favorite appearances have been traveling across the United States inspiring women and girls in person as a keynote speaker carrying the message to audiences of 100+ that everyone has seeds of greatness inside and helping them build "success roadmaps” for their life and career. I spoke at the California State capitol on Suicide Prevention this year and traveled to Washington DC to discuss the connection between mentorship and better health outcomes for teens. I have also enjoyed attending various pageants to support contestants and encouraging women to compete within the Ms. America / Ms. International system. World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: What are some of your achievements? I have reduced the gender dream gap for girls, increased mental health awareness and access to care, overcome cancer twice, raised a son born with special needs and saved souls of those who are lost by leading them to the savior, Jesus Christ. Reduced The Gender Dream Gap For Girls
Founded a 501c3 focused on suicide prevention for teens & developed (6) programs that nurture and equip girls to live their dreams.
Provided over $50K in scholarships to youth & young adults to remove the barrier of access to higher education
Partnered with Community Orgs to spread Life Skills, College Planning & STEM Programs across the State
Increased Mental Health Awareness & Access To Care
Co-developed an app that assists teens in crisis
Co-Authored legislation that expands Mental Health services for California colleges
Shared Mental Health First Aid practices throughout Northern California schools Awards (not all are listed)
2022 Global Beauty Award - Best Non Profit
2019, 2020, 2021 White House Presidential Service Award Honoree
2018 Impact Award - Girls Inc.
2017 Woman of the Year - Sac Cultural Hub
World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: What makes you stand out from all those other beautiful girls? What makes me special is my confidence or what I often refer to as Godfidence. I am an extremely confident person because I know where my strength, help and purpose comes from. I was taught very early in life that I could do all things. Believing is most of the battle. I believe in myself and what God can do through me so much that I don't fear challenges that come my way. I have a faith over fear mentality and its a major contributing factor to everything I do. World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: Tell us about the moment your name was called out as the winner. I wish I could tell you that I was cool, calm and collected when I heard my name but I was shocked and grateful. There were four crowns sitting there and to be totally honest, I only wanted the Mrs. International Beauty title. Not that the other titles wouldn’t have been awesome because they are equally amazing but because I am proud to say that I am a married woman that shares her life with her husband and family. Even though to some this is just a pageant, I always had this weird perspective that wearing anything other than Mrs. across my chest while being married is somehow disrespectful to my relationship and everything I have experienced as a married woman for over 17 years now. I grappled with this internally for a while before signing up and then I prayed about it. Not only did God allow me to mark “International Titleholder” off of my bucket list, He also blessed me with the desire of my heart, a Mrs. International title. World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: What does it mean to you to be a Beauty Queen? I honestly don’t put allot of meaning into it at all. I did something I love, which is competing in a pageant and God said it was my time. It very well could have been someone else on the stage because standing beside me were all worthy, accomplished and amazing women. I am a Queen whether wearing a literal or figurative crown as I believe that I was made in the image of the creator and crowned by his grace. If I were to place any meaning to being a “Beauty Queen” I would say that it means I can now have access to a megaphone that is bestowed upon me in the form of a crown and sash to elevate my voice and increase my reach in making the change I want to see in this world. World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: How did competing in pageants help your life? Early on pageants helped to fund my educational dreams of earning a college degree. As an adult competing in pageants has broadened my network and allowed me to create amazing partnerships with organizations that are also on a mission to impact the youth while meeting like-minded women and forming life long connections. World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: How did pageants help your selfesteem and body image? This is such an interesting question because after being in this industry for over 30yrs I have heard a few stories of women who say pageants helped them focus on health because they wanted to be in shape for competition but I’ve heard far more stories of women who have struggled with feeling worthy and included from an image perspective. I can’t say that pageants have helped or hindered my self-esteem and body image actually. It also hasn’t changed my perspectives about my self worth or made me stop loving my own image. I guess I need to thank God for great parents because they showed me how to have a healthy relationship with self-esteem and body image throughout my childhood and adult life. As a former gymnast, softball and volleyball player, I have an athletic build that isn’t always celebrated in pageantry but none of that bothers me. I am a US size 8 and sometimes 10 which puts me on the thicker side of the typical pageant girl and I embrace my body wholeheartedly. This body has survived cancer, ushered life into the world and continues to carry forward everyday. My body is an image of strength, perseverance and divine purpose. I run three miles a day 4X a week, ride 5 miles on a Peloton and create lean muscle in the Pilates studio twice a week. I do all of this for health, not for size and it has nothing to do with competing in pageants but everything to do with being able to feel my best everyday of my life. This is who I am and I love every inch of me. World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: You are an inspiration to all the girls out there. How does it feel? Even at a young age I was considered a leader in church, at school and in sports. I have been recognized as an inspiration for quite some time but I believe "to much is given, much is expected." I do not take the weight of being an inspiration to girls out there lightly. It is a heavy burden and I am happy to carry it because if I can touch and transform the life of a girl through mentorship or just engaging with her on social media I have lived in my purpose. World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: What is your on stage strategy to win the judges over? Hands down the strategy to winning judges over is having the perfect balance of intelligence and charisma. Your knowledge and personality are far more impressive than your body and beauty. World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: How did you prepare for your competition? I went to my local clubhouse, introduced myself to every person there and spoke about my platform with strangers. I wanted to make sure I didn’t have another Mrs. California International moment. I also wanted to know if people who were unknown to me would have a good understanding of who I am, what my platform was and how I expected to make an impact with the title with the content I planned to use in the competition. I walked in my evening gown at the yoga studio and participated in a few rounds of mock interviews with trusted friends that I knew would give honest feedback. Most important, I prepared my mindset and continued to remind myself that I will either win or learn and I was prepared to accept either outcome with grace. World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: What are your tips for learning better pageant walk? Practice, practice, practice! Do it as often as you can, in front of a mirror while wearing the shoes you will use during your competition. Incorporate your facial expressions and different paces for each portion of the competition. Pay close attention to how your body moves and interacts with your wardrobe when walking and make adjustments to either the walk or wardrobe if something isn’t working in advance of your pageant. World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: What are your tips for choosing right pageant dress? I am a huge fan of body positivity. If you love your body you will find the things that work best for you. The right pageant wardrobe, whether its an interview outfit or evening gown should be something you feel confident and comfortable in. It should accentuate your body, be age appropriate and make you feel invincible when you’re wearing it. World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: What are your tips for winning interview? I am a firm believer that winners are made in interview. I am not just a titleholder, I am also a coach and while I can’t give away all of my secrets I will share a few tips; Don’t think you can wing it, Prepare.
Know your audience and strategically highlight your experiences, accomplishments and ideas that demonstrate why you are the best person for the job.
Project your voice, be expressive but pay attention to your non-verbal communication
Be aware of how you internalize and show up in stressful moments
Dress for the job you want and make a lasting impression. If you want more tips, DM the word “access” to me for an invitation to join my private “Secrets of the Crown" Facebook group where I weekly tips to help equip you to win the crown that is calling your name! World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: What is one mistake that you've done during competing you wish you could redo and fix it? I remember competing for Mrs. California International one year and totally bombing my platform presentation. I was distracted by the phone call that I just received prior to competing from a parent of one of my mentees. She attempted suicide again and was in the hospital on a 24hr hold. Her Mother was distraught and while I tried everything I could do to calm her, I cried…. hard. I sat there and wondered what could be done so that no parent ever feels this kind of pain again. I wondered what type of world are we living in that a child believed that the only solution in that moment was to not exist. My mind was no longer on the pageant and I was on stage 30mins later expected to deliver a speech about being a mental health advocate. The words wouldn’t come out of my mouth without tears and I spent all of my energy trying to keep them from rolling down my face as I stood there speechless. I wish I could go back and redo this moment but honestly, I wouldn’t change the situation because what I felt in that day helped to push me even harder into my platform. World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: What other mistakes are made by girls during the contest? I think the biggest mistake girls make during competition is attempting to show up as the person they think the judges are “looking for” instead of trying being authentic and allowing their greatness to shine. Be who you are and if that happens to align with what they are looking for, you will win the crown but don’t go into it changing who you are to fit a particular idea or persona. That is the worst mistake you can make. World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: Any modeling or acting experience? In 2019 I had the amazing opportunity to walk in New York Fashion Week in two separate shows. I had previously only dreamt of attending NYFW but was mind blown when the opportunity to be in a show presented itself. It was an incredible experience. World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: What are your plans for 2022 as a Queen? I going to continue evolving my platform and transforming lives. I have multiple AFSP Out of the Darkness Walks I am leading in San Francisco, Orlando and Washington DC. I will also be back on a stage as the keynote speaker and Emcee for a national pageant in Tampa. I’ll be judging another national pageant and can also be found at the Drug Free America conference stage empowering the youth with factual information about drugs so they can make informed decisions and commit living a drug free life. The work I do to mentor young women and girls will not end when I crown my successor in October of 2022, it is just a way of life for me and something I hope to continue forever. World Class Beauty Queens Magazine: What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? I am on a mission to leave a legacy of healthier and happier lives. I allow that to be the catalyst for the things I involve myself in. Right now we are facing a time where matters of the mind are preventing people from living their best life. I am going to change that and that will be my legacy. International Director: Susan Jeske National Director: Susan Jeske Your Local Director: None Pageant website: https://www.msamericapageant.com Name of the Photographer and other credits: HMU by Kennedy Garcia. Photo's by Tracy DePalo of Syracuse Photography World Class Beauty Queens Magazine would like to say thank you for this amazing interview! Interview by Derek Tokarzewski Owner/Editor in Chief of World Class Beauty Queens Magazine.
Dr. S. Kennedy Hill-Garcia, PhD. Mrs. International Beauty 2021, World Class Beauty Queens Magazine, HMU by Kennedy Garcia, Photo by Tracy DePalo of Syracuse 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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