This girl is goals: One beauty queen on how to have *mega* confidence
Teens are capable of anything: running a business, raising cash for a cause, making a difference, inspiring others. There are great girls everywhere—and in our new “Great Girls” series, created in partnership with Barbizon Modeling, we’ll shine a light on remarkable young women with incredible stories. Whether you get some solid ideas or just some serious inspo, take notes on these top-notch teens—and maybe we’ll be sharing *your* story someday soon.
It may have been a few years since she was crowned queen (at her hometown’s Strawberry Queen pageant), but this girl is *still* killing it with the confidence she gained and is spreading a positive message to all girls. Check out our interview with Samantha below, then read her top three tips for nixing nerves and being the fearless babe you're meant to be.
Girls’ Life: Tell us a little about your title as Florida’s Strawberry Queen.
Samantha: My town is called Plant City (yes, like actual plants) and we're the winter strawberry capital of the world. We have the best strawberries. And every year we have a huge festival with a queen who is the representative of both the festival and our town for the year. I figured I would try out for the Strawberry Queen Pageant just for fun but somehow ended up winning the title of the 2015 Strawberry Queen!
GL: That’s amazing! After winning, what did you do with your title?
Samantha: It was kind of like being a Disney princess--I kept thinking about how crazy it was, that this had all happened. I represented the festival each night which was really cool and, because it was a scholarship opportunity, I helped raise money for tennis, which I play. And even more than that, I was a mentor for tons of girls throughout the year. I would go around to schools and events and talk to them about the importance of holding your head up high, being kind and being confident.
GL: Do you think being in pageants helped shape who you are today?
Samantha: Definitely. I only did two pageants but from my experience, it really is a great confidence builder because it's a really brave thing going out there on stage. It’s an amazing experience.
GL: What's next for the former Strawberry Queen?
Samantha: Right now I am in college at the University of Florida and plan to be a fertility doctor. I want to be able to help women who cannot get pregnant and kind of give back that way since it was something my parents struggled with.
When it comes to being fearless (whether you're trying out for the field hockey team, competing in a pageant yourself or working up the nerve to interview for your dream internship), Samantha has three major tips.
1. "Remember, no one is judging you. Except maybe the judges, but even then, they are always very supportive and want you to do your best."
2. "Know that you have a voice. I loved being able to go out there, and be like “Hey, I am Samantha and this is who I am.”"
3. "Go after it, even if you're scared. I tried out for the strawberry pageant just for fun. But I would encourage girls to do things, even if it makes them nervous. It can be a great way to gain confidence if you believe in yourself."
Want to see what Barbizon Modeling is all about—and build confidence like Samantha? CLICK HERE to get more information about programs and opportunities.