I was fortunate enough to win the title of Miss Oregon Jr High and to start promoting the B.R.A.V.E platform. Honestly without that title I would still be in that situation and wouldn't be as confident in pageantry as I am today. They always made me feel as though I needed to hide that part of my life, but through promoting the B.R.A.V.E platform I not only taught building respect and values for everyone to kids and students but I taught it to myself. With the brave platform I was able to be more open about my time in pageantry and open up about what I do rather than hiding it. I learned to respect myself and value the things I am most proud of in life, as well as learning that I need to be surrounding myself with people who make me feel included and supported rather than feeling like less than them.
In the last two years of promoting the B.R.A.V.E platform I have been able to combine my own platform #itskooltobekindwithkaydence which reminds students and people to always be kind no matter the situation with the B.R.A.V.E platform. When I go into classrooms or do zoom presentations I always talk about one thing, being an upstander not a bystander. This means be the person who says something when someone is being bullied, be the person who stops the aggressor and helps the victim, not the person who sits back and watches the bullying happen. Through the B.R.A.V.E platform I have had the opportunity to hold 3 B.R.A.V.E assemblies at my local elementary school, talk with principals and teachers of my locals schools about B.R.A.V.E, talk to many classrooms in my community about B.R.A.V.E and what it stands for, but one thing I got to help with that I will never forget is when a group of fourth graders came to me with the idea of starting a B.R.A.V.E club at their school. I got the opportunity to work with them and help them spread the B.R.A.V.E message around their school through their club. That moment I knew I HAD made a difference and the B.R.A.V.E message was being heard in my community. This year I was given the opportunity to go back to nationals as MIss Wyoming High, that meant another year of promoting B.R.A.V.E and having the opportunity to spread the message of B.R.A.V.E and #itskooltobekindwithkaydence even more throughout my community.
Welcome to the BRAVE Blog, I'm Carly, Miss Houston Collegiate America and I am working together with other titleholders in the MHSA organization to share the message of BRAVE and why it is so important!