When it comes to being a titleholder, not only do you have to promote the title and the pageant in order to help it grow, but you also need to promote your platform and continue to do all that you have been with it now that you have won.
The most efficient way of doing this is to pick a platform that allows you to be in the community sharing your passion and influencing positive change in your community all while promoting your title. (Read: 10 Ways to Get Your Pageant Platform Nationally Recognized)
A Community Service Pageant System
“Through National Elite Pageants we like to encourage our girls to choose a platform and promote it through volunteering or community service,” explained Crystal Seidler, National Elite Pageants’ director.
Choosing a pageant system that focuses on community service allows you to branch out with sister queens and grow your platform to get more involvement for it.
Benefits of a Service-Oriented Pageant System
Systems that encourage service among their titleholders will often provide some opportunities for titleholders to get involved. For example, every year Miss America holds Miss America Cares, when titleholders, including local titleholders, across the nation get involved in their communities. National Elite Pageants does the same.
“We provide many opportunities through the year for our queens to volunteer,” Seidler said.
When a pageant system provides some of those service opportunities, it helps take the pressure off titleholders and helps guide new and first-time pageant contestants find ways to get involved.
“We also hold many drives that allow all of our contestants to participate in our local and state pageants,” explained Seidler. “We have collected items for Texas Children’s Hospital and have also donated to Operation Backpack where our girls were featured during a live segment on ABC Houston Channel 13 News.”
Choosing a Platform
When you are chosen to be a titleholder in a pageant or decide to compete to become the titleholder, one of the hardest things to do is to pick a platform. (Read: Are You Standing on a Soapbox or a Platform?)
One of two things happens, either you have multiple things that you are passionate about and can’t pick just one, or you can’t come up with anything that you’d want to focus on.
I’ll be honest, it took me until I was 27 to really find my platform. I had been through dozens, but only this one was the one I wanted to talk about, be involved with, and grow daily.
To find your platform sooner, you can work with a coach and talk to friends and family. (Read: 5 Tips to Perfecting Your Pageant Platform for Interview)
Testimonials of Choosing a Platform and Getting Involved
Teen Miss Texas, Kayla Black, sought to improve the lives of animals in shelters. She promoted her platform through an act of service by hosting a collection drive on social media and then photographing the items collected and sharing them on social media.
“[I] called upon the community, family and friends to get involved by helping me collect much-needed donations,” explained Black.
Service is also a great way to get to know your sister queens and spread your cause.
Black got her pageant friend involved in her platform as well.
“I invit[ed] one of my sister queens, who expressed interest in my cause and this volunteer opportunity, to also help collect donations,” Black said.
Sometimes a platform can seem like more work than it’s worth. If this is the case, it may not be the right platform for you.
“The ‘work’…has been satisfying beyond measure and the ‘generosity’ of people who help me accomplish my goals of collecting more donations each time [keeps me going],” Black said.
National Elite Teen Miss Lone Star State, Madison Ramirez described her journey to her platform. (Read: Is Having a Pageant Platform Important to Winning?)
“I chose ‘Random Act of Kindness’ for my platform because I believe that kindness is the most valuable gift you will ever give someone and that no act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted. I believe if you use your voice for kindness, you can make a positive impact on someone’s life. Every day I make it a personal goal to show a ‘Random Act of Kindness’ by reaching out to someone that I do not know. A simple smile and a hello is the best way to lift someone up.
While volunteering with the Galveston Kindness Project, I was inspired by the positive impact a random act of kindness can affect a life and I knew that this was a platform that I could inspire others.
The Galveston Kindness Project promotes its cause by supporting and coordinating kind, mindful and positive Kindness Projects among the community. A few projects I have had the honor of participating in are feeding the families at the Ronald McDonald House, teaming up with the Galveston Police Department and the Lighthouse Charity Team to coordinate with Blue Santa, [making] care packages for our soldiers, cleaning up the beach and the city streets and donations to the Salvation Army.
These are just a few of the numerous amazing projects the Galveston Kindness Project promotes. Each month, the Galveston Kindness Project reaches out to the local youth and teenagers on the positive effects of a random act of kindness and challenges them to spread kindness everyday while reminding them it’s cool to be kind.
In October of 2016, I had the honor to be named the Ambassador of the Galveston ‘Cool to be Kind’ campaign. This is an amazing honor and I am so very proud to have a platform that has a positive impact on people’s lives.
My favorite part of serving my platform is how rewarding it is to see how a random act of kindness can impact a person’s life in a positive way.”
Ramirez also uses the hashtag #c2bk to promote Cool to be Kind.
National Elite Junior Miss Florida, Savannah Compton, tells the story that inspired her platform.
“Five years ago on a cold winter day, I witnessed a sight that sparked my actions to make a change. There in the damp grass laid a puppy not even two months of age. A helpless, lifeless being abandoned by the person it needed the most. Barely alive, I took the puppy home and nursed it back to health. Now she is a spunky princess who loves having her belly rubbed and playing with her toys.
This has inspired me to create my platform, ‘All Lives are Precious,’ so I can be the voice for not just that puppy, but for all the animals that harmoniously dwell by our side. I am a firm believer that together as a united whole we can open our eyes and hearts to know how truly precious all life can be and how it is delicately balanced with our own lives.
This drives my ambition as I promote ‘All Lives are Precious’ to thousands of people all around the world. I am a proud ambassador to several international and national organizations such as the Pacific Mammal Center, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation, Save the Elephants, and the SPCA, which all embody the same beliefs on the importance of all creatures and how we can help them. I also work hands on in my own community to create a brighter future for those nearest to me.
I have proudly donated over 800 items of animal supplies to stop animal homelessness and I am relentlessly proactive in directly interacting with others through events and activities to inspire them to make a change.
It is solely my passion and the memory of why I started ‘All Lives are Precious’ that keep me striving for a day where all of nature lives together in peace. I am driven to make sure no animal will ever face suffering again.
My favorite part about this process is getting to directly interact with the animals that I have helped. It is in that moment when you look into their eyes and you get to see how truly thankful they are that someone saved them.
‘All Lives are Precious’ is my platform, but one day I hope it is a movement that changes our minds and opens our hearts.”
As you can tell, all of these titleholders in the National Elite Pageants system are passionate about their platforms and something, even something small and unexpected, led them to those platforms.
If you are interested in becoming a titleholder for National Elite Pageants, state-appointed titles are being awarded now. Contact director Crystal Seidler at email@example.com for more information. (Read: 10 Tips for At-Large Titleholders)
National Elite 2017 will be held in Houston, Texas June 30 through July 2.
When it comes to pageantry, the most important thing besides picking a platform that you are passionate about is choosing a system that aligns with your values and goals. (Read: How to Choose a New Pageant System When You Have Aged Out)
Do your research and ask questions. While many say that winning the crown is the best part of being in a pageant, truth is, the journey to the stage is the most rewarding part of it all.
Good luck, ladies!