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Jefferson Award Winner dispelling myths about pageants and mentoring young women

Onalaska, WI (WXOW) – While she might have a full closet of elegant gowns but Miranda Schmidt says competing in pageants is more than just fancy shoes and a beautiful crown.

“Once you can sit in front of a panel of five judges and they can ask you truly anything about anything they can ask you about your political opinions or your social interests or things about current events. These girls can rapid fire and answer these questions with confidence. It’s something that really empowers them to do almost anything that they can ever want to do,” said Schmidt.

Miranda  wore the crown in 2011 as Miss Onalaska and today as the Executive Director of the program she teaches young women that competing in and of itself is an experience.

“She really made me so comfortable and so confident in the experience and even if I made a mistake and even though the experience didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to she still made me see how valuable of a life lesson it was and how great of a life experience it was,” said Lizzie Davis who is Miss Onalaska Outstanding Teen 2017.

Miranda does everything from loaning dresses to young women to helping them  stay up on current events and learning how to interview and answer almost any question. However, the Miss Onalaska Organization in and of itself fosters relationships that
last a lifetime.

Annie Skogen is Miss Onalaska Outstanding Teen 2015.  She and Miranda have become super close. “She gives back to people everyday.  There are so many girls that reach out to her who need help with self confidence or the interview portion and she gives her all to every one
of those girls. Miranda is someone I can always confide in.  She’s someone that will always be there for me and I’m very lucky to have her in my life,” said Annie.

Erin O’Brien should know. She nominated Miranda for a Jefferson Award.  She’s Miss Onalaska 2016.

“She mentored me and helped me get ready for Miss Wisconsin and she helped me be the best Miss Onalaska I could be but she just had such a big impact on my life.  She was so supportive and encouraging.  I also realized how much she does for other people,” said Erin.

Miranda has many life goals but as far as pageants go she wants to teach the public that pageants are about so much more than glitz and glam and the women competing are smart, kind souls.

“I challenge those people to just have a conversation with these young women because they are so impressive and they have so much to say and they have so much to advocate for. They’re all such wonderful women. I’m proud of them every single day.  I’m just thankful to walk along with them through that journey,” said Miranda.

Kevin Millard

Kevin Millard-Social Media Digital Content Manager for WXOW.

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