“Win as if you were used to it, lose as if you enjoy the challenge.”
Welcome, Queens! Our very first Tuesday Titleholder is Abby Barnes, your USA National Miss Colorado Jr. Teen! She’s a 15 year old who loves her family, traveling, Harry Potter, and We’re All Family, her organization. She’s the only girl in a set of triplets and was born in London, but currently resides in Greenwood Village. She is incredibly hardworking, and ambitious — a true Slytherin. We can’t wait for you all to get to know her. Don’t forget to check out her social media!
I got into pageantry when I was sent a letter from National America Miss in the mail. I was originally just going to participate in this one pageant, but I was hooked after the weekend finished. I had never met so many girls that valued the same things I did, such as community involvement and sisterhood. I got sent that letter in the mail almost four years ago, and I fall more in love with pageant every day.
Ask any pageant girl her favorite thing about competing in pageants and she’ll tell you it’s one of the hardest questions to answer. There are so many things I love about competing, but I think the best part is the connections you make. These connections are formed with other girls who quickly become your best friends and help you reach your goals. I would have never forged my partnership with Team Disney Charities without pageants. Thanks to my connections with Team Disney Charities and pageantry, I have started my own charity called We’re All Family, which encourages girls to become leaders in their communities.
My favorite pageant memory was one of the first speeches I gave at competition. My Dyslexia isn’t something I open up about very often. For a long time I was ashamed and embarrassed. I’ve worked really hard not only to overcome my dyslexia, but also my insecurities surrounding it. I decided to give the speech to let others know they’re not alone in whatever they’re struggling with. When I finished speaking and had walked off the stage, I was flocked by people wanting to talk to me. I was so shocked but also so happy, as people told me about their own struggles. One story stood out to me and I still think about it today. It was man in his 60s and he had walked up to me with his whole family trailing behind him. He started off by thanking me. He told me about how he had struggled with Dyslexia all his life and was so embarrassed as a kid. He then took a pause to get a card out of his back pocket; it was his business card. He had relaid to me that his Dyslexia had pushed him to start his own business to succeed, proving others wrong. He was happy that, as a kid, I was speaking up. Hearing such a touching story and the sincerity in his voice moved me. I felt like I was truly making a difference, even if it was just inspiring one kid. I would have never had that proud moment without pageants. This inspires me to continue speaking out and will forever be my favorite pageant memory.
As mentioned above, my platform is We’re All Family, a charity I’ve started to to encourage girls to become leaders in the their community. So often do girls want to get involved in their communities and not know how to do so or how to be more effective. As great as helping out in dog shelters is, their community could really need school supplies for kids or donations for military families. What We’re All Family does is pinpoint what a community really needs and steer girls in the right direction.
Thanks to my connections with Team Disney Charities, We’re All Family is able to have a further reach than just Colorado. Recently, we donated hundreds of care packages to mothers in domestic abuse shelters; in Florida, we collected and gave away Disney World passes to the kids and employees of the Girls and Boys Club. I’m unbelievably excited for the future of this organization and it makes me happy to spread its message every chance I get!
Unfortunately pageants have gotten a bad reputation among the public. The Queen Next Door is trying to break that preconception and show what pageants and their contestants are really like. This is such an important mission for the pageant community. To have a site ran by real pageant girls showing what pageants are all about makes me overjoyed and proud to be a pageant girl.