Wow, I still cannot believe that I am one of the newest members of the United States family! I took the advice of the organization's motto, "Dare to Dream... Take the Journey" and followed my heart to a place I never imagined in my wildest dreams. Representing my home state of Virginia, I journeyed to beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada to vie for the national title on July 13 & 14, 2011. Beautiful, incredibly accomplished women nationwide were there but I was so blessed and humbled to be selected by a panel of 10 judges to be your new Miss United States 2011!
I will never forget the moment waiting for the winner to be announced. I closed my eyes and steadied my heart, mentally preparing for the possibility of that moment to be mine. Then, I heard those piercing words, "And your new Miss United States is Miss..... Virginia, Ashley Smith!" I immediately became overwhelmed with such joy as I watched my lifelong dream become a reality. My eyes welled with tears as confetti colored the stage like fireworks. I was so gracious to have been given the opportunity to represent the Commonwealth of Virginia... Initially, I couldn't even fathom serving the entire nation. But then, I realized my life was going to change in a dramatic way-- and it has continued to evolve every moment since crowning. This year will be nothing short of astonishing.
I am looking forward to promoting the Miss United States Organization and my personal platform, "Breast Cancer: It's Not Just Hereditary" across the country. As Miss United States I will also work for Oprah Winfrey on her "No Phone Zone" campaign, which advocates no texting/calling while driving.
Partnering with celebrities, participating in television interviews, raising money for charities... all of these opportunities are in my near future. But they all fade in comparison to the opportunity to touch the life of one person for the better. Sometimes being Miss United States means as much being something to everyone as it means being everything to someone.
If I can be of service at your next event, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If I'm available, I'll be there!
See you on the journey...
Miss United States 2011