Director of Communications & Community Relations, West Plains School District
Charity: Bridges of West Plains
The woman who receives the most votes during online voting and has the biggest crowd at the event will be able to donate a portion of the Indulge event ticket proceeds to her charity. The winner will be announced during Indulge.
What is your local 417-land charity of choice, and why is it important to you?
Bridges of West Plains. The Bridges program is hosted by West Plains Schools. It is a community-based organization designed to help meet student needs in the West Plains School District and the surrounding rural schools, giving children the ability to focus on their education. No student should ever have to worry about where their next meal is coming from or if they have clean clothes to wear to school. If they don’t have shoes or pants that fit or don’t have food in their stomach, they can’t learn. We have to be able to meet those needs first so they are successful in school and life.
Do you volunteer, or are you involved in any philanthropic or community organizations? If so, what are they, and what do you do?
- West Plains Chamber of Commerce board member
- West Plains Rotary Club member
- Immediate Past President of the Missouri School Public Relations Association
- Board Search Chair for the National School Public Relations Association
- West Plains Schools Education Foundation Liaison
What do you think makes a woman beautiful?
Being beautiful on the outside is only part of what makes a woman beautiful. It’s also about not being afraid to be yourself, the love for she has for herself and for others. A beautiful woman is also confident, has self-respect and respect for others, empathetic, giving, compassionate, happy and well-rounded.
What has been your proudest moment? Or, what are you most proud of?
Since I was a child, life has thrown me many curve balls but I am proud to say I never let anything get in my way. Ever since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to become more than what my upbringing dealt to me. I have always been very driven and I am proud of everything that I have accomplished. I am young and have accomplished a lot. My job is not ‘just a job’ because I feel the role I hold is more important than that. It has purpose and gives me a lot of satisfaction. I am proud to say that I am responsible for my happiness. I am motivated to be a better person than I was yesterday for the sole purpose that I want to challenge myself. I am proud of who I have become.
What was one particularly defining moment in your life? A life-changing moment.
When I got my degree everything changed. I gained confidence in myself and life just started to click and began to move very fast. I found the career of a lifetime that allowed me to grow in so many ways professionally and personally. As an example – In my younger years I was a girl who was afraid of public speaking but later became a leader in the field of public relations and now I speak to my peers and colleagues at the national and state level about my craft. I came from a family where the opportunity to become educated beyond high school was impossible. I pushed through that and will forever be grateful that I did. Becoming educated has opened so many doors for me,
When you were a child, who did you think was the most beautiful woman? Why?
Julia Roberts – Even though she was an actress and it was her job play a character, I just thought she had it all: wit, beauty, and brains. She is still my favorite actress today.
What advice would you give to a young girl about being beautiful?
Beauty is only skin deep. There are so many more ways to be beautiful other than your face. It doesn’t matter if you are fair skinned with freckles, 20 pounds overweight or if you are drop dead gorgeous- beauty comes from within.
What’s something that might surprise us about you, or a story you love to tell?
I was incredibly shy when I was little girl. I remember riding the bus when I was 6 and getting a nose bleed because some of the older kids were trying to talk to me and I got scared.
What is your biggest source of inspiration?
- Winning! I’m very goal oriented. If there is a goal to reach I will go after it.
- My kids are also a huge source of inspiration. They inspire me to be do great every day because at the end of the day I get to go home and be with them.
- My Missouri School Public Relations Association team has been so incredibly inspiring to me. We are a group made of strong, outgoing, compassionate, school public relations savvy individuals.
Where do you find beauty in 417-land?
Specifically – the rolling hills between West Plains and Arkansas near Bakersfield, MO. From certain points, you can literally see for miles. The view amazes me every single time. It’s worth it to be seen.
What do you think is the biggest issue or challenge 417-land is facing right now, and how would you tackle it?
Missouri is experiencing a skills gap. There is an overflow of jobs available but not enough qualified people to fill them. Today’s unemployed workers are simply not equipped with the skills to successfully match with unfilled jobs. Effective worker training has the potential to close this gap and can help fill the shortage of workers in nursing, computer science, etc.
See the winners in the September issue!
Get to know our 10 Most Beautiful even better. Then, watch them walk the runway at 417 Magazine's Indulge on September 13 at Oasis Hotel and Convention Center.