How did you celebrate winning the Miss Scott County Crown?
Over the last 13 years of competing in Miss America, it has been my tradition to go to our local ice cream store, Whitey’s, after every competition. After being crowned Miss Scott County, I introduced my teen, Ellery, to the tradition and we enjoyed the best ice cream in the midwest! This has been a tradition that I have always cherished, regardless of the competition outcome and I am so glad I was able to introduce it to Ellery and her mom!
What has been the biggest surprise about your time as Miss Scott County?I have always felt very supported by my community both in my hometown and in all the times I have served Scott County. However, this year I have been pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming support and interest in my initiative. I have had community members reach out to learn more, asking how to get involved, and inviting me to speak at events. The interest and support has improved my confidence in advocating for water quality, and has given me even more reason to do so. I am so grateful and blessed to serve Scott County not once, not twice, but four different times.
What part of the upcoming Miss Iowa competition are you most nervous about?
Making sure that I have everything I need during the week, specifically enough food, water, and all the small accessories for my outfits. I usually have a spreadsheet for this to make sure I am completely organized, but I still get nervous that I am forgetting something.
How did you select your social impact initiative, “Watersheds: Think Global, Act Local”?For all of my life, I have known that I wanted to do something environmentally related when I ‘grew up.’ I just couldn’t put my finger on exactly what that would be until I went on my 6th grade field trip to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois. While there, I met the marine biologists and did a squid dissection with them. I knew right away that this was what I was meant to do; I was going to ‘grow up’ to be a marine biologist. Ever since then, I have worked towards that goal. I will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Sciences - Life Sciences emphasis in May and will continue my education by attending graduate school to achieve my PhD in Marine Biology. With all of this being said, in order to study sharks (my favorite animal, and the main motivation behind my admiration for marine biology), we have to have healthy water sources. In doing my own research for fun, I found that there is a major watershed health issue in my state AND it affects oceans all over the world, but more directly affects the Gulf of Mexico! Unhealthy waterways creates public health scares and ecosystem deterioration. A large part of Iowa’s water pollution comes from excessive nutrients which are extremely harmful to the environment and to people (specifically children and expectant mothers). When exposed, we are faced with increased risks of birth complications, cancers, disruption in concentration abilities, and harmful algal blooms (kills off fish, messes with our breathing, and more). Iowa is bordered by two large rivers (the Missouri and the Mississippi) which flow right into the Gulf of Mexico and are home to the nation's largest watershed- the Mississippi River Watershed. Iowa plays a direct role in the health of the Gulf so we desperately need to be diligent and mindful in what we are putting into our local areas in order to protect areas around the globe. After I did all of this research, I knew I needed to do something. I knew that if this was something I was unaware of, most people also probably had no idea. That is why I created my initiative and that is why it is so important and relevant. Lastly, the importance of my initiative can also be expanded to self actualization through aiding individuals into understanding their full potential - that all individuals are powerful and truly can make a big difference.
You’re studying Environmental Science at University of Northern Iowa. Where do you see that field taking you?I will continue my education by attending graduate school for marine biology to obtain my PhD. I want to use my environmental science degree in conjunction with my marine biology degree to study marine ecosystems and find ways to improve the hydrology within these ecosystems.
What is “Real Talk Friday”?
Real Talk Friday is a series of posts I do every Friday on Instagram and Facebook. The goal of these posts is to initiate an open and safe conversation about topics that are unrelated to my initiative and aren’t talked about enough. The overarching goal is to help people feel validated in their feelings, struggles, life, etc. I think it is extremely important to have representation in all aspects of life; to show others that they are never alone. I also like to use these posts to feature others and their stories. If you want to be featured in these posts, you can send me a message or fill out the google form that is linked in my bio (on both Facebook and Instagram). I am looking for people (does NOT have to be a titleholder!!) who can speak candidly about a topic that hits close to home for them. Topics can be about anything, there really is no topic that is ‘too small’ for Real Talk Friday. To give you a little taste of my Real Talk Friday posts: one of the posts talks about imposter syndrome, which is really common among titleholders. In this post, I featured a sister titleholder who has imposter syndrome. I did all the preliminary research to give facts and resources regarding imposter syndrome. The most important piece of the post, however, is the last couple of slides. In these slides, my sister titleholder shared her story- talking about her struggles, how she deals with them, and how she has overcome them!
If you could be a Disney Character for a week, who would you choose? Why?It is impossible for me to choose between Belle and Moana. Belle is a classic Disney princess and I have always resonated with her love for learning. I also have always wanted to play Belle in a musical rendition of the movie. However, as a future marine biologist, Moana blew me away the first time I watched it. I remember crying at the beauty of the ocean animations, and the music that Lin Manuel Miranda composed for the movie. I relate to Moana’s connection with the ocean, and her love for exploring. Moana is a newer Disney princess, but that doesn’t take away from her brilliance. Both characters have large pieces of me intertwined with their stories so I would be perfectly content being either for a week!
If you had an extra ticket to the Quad City River Bandits play the Cedar Rapids Kernels, who would you take with you? Why?
This is such a hard question because I would have to choose between my brother, dad, and mom. They are the reason I am such a huge baseball fan, and I would like to share the experience of the game with all of them. If I absolutely had to pick, I would pick my brother so that he could help me understand any parts of the game that I don’t understand.
Is there a feature or activity at a baseball game that you’d especially like to experience?I know this is a Red Sox Fan Blog but, I am a HUGE Chicago Cubs fan and have attended many games within my lifetime. My favorite part of going to Cubs games is sitting in the Budweiser Bleachers because you are given the opportunity to interact with the outfielders. I have even been fortunate enough to catch balls thrown by Wilson Contreras and Ian Happ! I highly recommend attending a game at Wrigley while sitting in the bleachers, even if you’re not a Cubs fan!! Something else I would love to experience is getting an autograph from Anthony Rizzo. He was my favorite Cubs player until he had been traded, but he remains one of my favorite baseball players to this day. I really love that he uses his platform for a good cause, advocating for cancer patients and their families through the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation. He is an incredible role model and has inspired me in many ways.
Rizzo is an old Red Sox farmhand, so he's definitely cool with me.
As always, I want to thank Brittany for visiting with us, and for sending along the pictures to go with the interview.
I also want to wish her luck when she competes for Miss Iowa! It would be fantastic to have another Section 36 Forever wear that crown.
I'm sure you'd like to follow along with Brittany during her journey as Miss Scott County. You should be sure to check out her title's Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook accounts. They're great ways to keep track of everything she has going on.
Thanks again Brittany, and good luck!
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