Interview with Teen Miss New York Earth – Kelsey Zabawa
Firstly thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions about your pageant journey for my pageant lockdown blog it’s lovely getting to know Pageant Queens from across the globe.
What made you enter pageants ?
I have always wanted a title because I’ve wanted something to put my voice to. I have always been passionate about the environment and sharing my knowledge with others. Being a young woman and having such a powerful platform to speak upon is an extremely powerful tool that I’ve been privileged enough to have. Pageants allowed me as a young woman to feel confident in myself and my passions and have the opportunity to share them with others.
Can you tell us about your pageant journey so far ?
I competed in two other pageants before winning the title of Teen Miss New York Earth. The first time I competed was in 2017 when I was only 15 years old. I placed First Runner Up and met lifelong friends that I still talk to daily! Teen Miss New York Earth is my first title! Since my first pageant, I have grown into a confident, passionate individual. I have learned the importance of being confident in your own skin and being confident in your platform and what’s important to you.
What made you decide to compete in the Miss Earth USA Organization?
I decided to compete in the Miss Earth USA Organization because my platform is environmental. This organization was perfect for me as an individual and supported my platform.
What the best thing that pageants have taught you ?
Pageants have taught me how to be confident in my own skin and the importance of speaking up and using my voice towards demanding climate action. I have never been a quiet individual, but before competing in my first pageant, I was always afraid to speak up when discussing things that I was passionate about. Pageants have given me the confidence to speak up and not be afraid to speak about my passion for the environment and how I as an individual plan to educate others.
What’s your pageant platform and why ?
My platform is called Pamela’s Planting Promise. I created this platform in memory of my mother who passed away from cancer in 2014. She was an environmentalist and was very passionate about educating my family and I on the importance of living a sustainable life. I want to give back what my mother gave me, and educate the youth on how to take care of the environment and how to live a sustainable life.
What’s your dream title ?
My dream title would be the title of Teen Miss Earth USA. Representing our country in the international competition would allow me to continue to reach out and educate the youth of America as well as youth from across the world and share the legacy of my mother.
If you were to win what would it mean to you ?
If I were to win the title of Teen Miss Earth USA, it would allow me to reach children all over the world and educate them on my platform. The youth is the future generation, and in order to leave an impact great enough for change, we need to educate and encourage them to demand climate action now. I have always dreamed of having the power to reach children across the globe, and to be able to encourage young women to do as I have, to share their voices and not be afraid to speak up about things they are passionate about.
What’s the best advice you have for fellow pageant queens ?
Always be yourself. There is no other YOU. That’s everyone’s super power! What you are passionate about and what you have to offer are far different from the rest of us. What you believe in and what you have to say is important, and people want to hear what you have to say. As a titleholder, you have a job to serve for your state. Use your title to its fullest potential!
What have you been doing in since you won the title of Teen Miss New York Earth ?
Since I have won the title of Teen Miss New York Earth, I have been crazy busy. Unfortunately, because of the global pandemic, I am unable to create an event with my community. However, I have learned the power of social media. Since I have won, I have been as active as possible on all of my social media platforms. I have shared my first potted plants of 2020, I have posted about the cleanups I have been doing around my community, I’ve created some upcycling projects for children to participate in, as well as adults, and I have shared a very personal experience of losing my mother, and how it has fueled my passion for the environment.
What’s your favourite appearance so far ?
As mentioned, the global pandemic does not allow me to make any appearances in person. However, my sister queens and I created a live video chat via Instagram to stay involved and allow others to get to know us! I also have been signing petitions online to demand climate action.
How has the lockdown due to Covid19 effected your pageant journey I know you already mentioned you can’t attend physical events but can you expand further on this ?
Honestly, it has not prevented me from using my title. Although I can’t physically go out and work with my community, I can still share my journey with others, educate the youth through social media, stay involved through signing petitions and live a sustainable life. My state pageant was conducted online through conference call. That being said, I never had a crowning moment. This did not take the magic away from the entire experience, however. I was still beyond shocked, blessed and excited to begin my journey as Teen Miss New York Earth.
What makes a good pageant role model ?
In my opinion, a good pageant role model is one who uses their title towards the greater good. Having a title is so much more than a crown and a sash. You are representing your state and your platform. It is so important to be genuine about what you share with others. Creating change through public speaking and interviewing, being actively involved in my community, and being kind to others are most important to me as a titleholder.
What’s your favourite pageant round ?
I love interview! I love to share my personal experiences and passions with the judges. It’s so important to leave everything on the table while in your interview. You want them to know what’s most important to you and what you stand for!
How do you deal with pageant nerves ?
I try to convert the nerves to excitement! Being on stage and speaking in front of a large amount of people is exhilarating! Instead of being nervous, I tell myself to be excited to share my story with others and allow others to get to know me! I absolutely love meeting new friends and sharing my experiences with others.
Social Media Links:
Facebook: @teenmissnewyorkearth Instagram: @teenmissnewyorkearth
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions about your pageant journey, it’s been amazing reading how passionate you are about your platform and your system. I wish you all the best at your pageant final. Much love Charlotte, Ms Diamond South Yorkshire 2020.