I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to interview Olivia Fletcher, Miss Teen Virginia USA 2014. She is a young, beautiful role model making a positive change in her community!
Favorite Color: Baby Blue
Favorite Book: A Walk To Remember
Education: Junior in High School and dual enrolled at Piedmont Virginia Community College
Hobbies: Cheerleading, tennis, pageants, bonfires with friends
Thank you! My sister and I have competed since we were very young. I started when I was about 3 years old in the small local pageants. Then I went on to compete in the Miss Virginia’s Outstanding Preteen program, where I places 1st runner up, and 3rd runner up. I then got into the Miss Virginias Outstanding Teen pageant after I aged out of preteen. I was 2nd runner up in teen. Then I decided to compete in the USA system for a change up, and I won on my first try. I was shocked, but excited.
I would tell her that pageants may be portrayed as a negative thing, but I wouldn’t have the confidence, nor would I have the interview skills that I have today without pageants. Compete in a system that works for you, and you’ll see the positive that comes along with pageantry. My personal experiences have not always been sunshine and butterflies when it comes to pageants, but most of it has. I can tell you right now that I would be able to walk into any professional job interview and ace it because of the interview practice and speaking skills I have gained through pageantry. DO IT, you meet amazing people and learn more than you could ever imagine.
For me, the most rewarding thing is just being able to have an impact on so many people. Whether it’s a little girl just passing by who thinks that they saw a real life princess, or one of the special Olympics kids that I met who got an autograph, I have impacted their lives in some sort of way and walk away knowing that whether it was just for a second, or not, I made someone smile. I feel like if more people tried harder just to make people smile, this world wouldn’t be such a cruel place. Another rewarding thing is getting to know so many other girls from other places and discovering girls who aren’t all about competing and being competitive, but genuinely care about every girl they compete with and the girl who wins. It’s really important to have that connection with the contestants during the pageant as a support system and just to make pageants that much more fun to compete in.
My platform is 4-H Developing Our Youth. I’ve been involved in the 4-H livestock club since I was 8 years old. My two sisters and my brother started when they were 8 years old as well. I have raised 10,000 dollars for my college education through selling and raising sheep and goats for 4-H. Not only have I raised that money, but I have learned budgeting skills, leadership skills, and social skills through 4-H. While yes, urban areas don’t have the livestock clubs like rural areas do, 4-H is all about finding something that you love to do, getting a group together, finding a leader and a 4-H agent, and starting a club up. 4-H for me is about having something to look forward to and help me stay focused on. A lot of inner-city kids are getting into trouble because they have nothing else to do and aren’t motivated to do anything except get into trouble. It’s important that there is something out there that can develop skills along with creating an exciting and healthy environment for our youth; and that’s just what 4-H does.
While it was never severe, I’ve experienced bullying. I never really called it bullying until I realized later on in life that it was. In middle school I was very skinny, and I was just a naturally skinny kid, and not only got called anorexic all the time, but got called flat chested and picked at by boys all the time and being told I wasn’t good enough. I realize now how much that impacted me in middle school. I tried my hardest to “fit in” and follow the crowd like all of the other kids, and that’s just what middle school kids do. I understand how important it is, now, to be yourself. No matter how many times people tell you to be yourself, just do it. It always works out in the end. Do what you love to do.
I didn’t do anything. Like I said, I followed the crowd and just let it slide because it was the “cool” kids saying the hurtful things, so I felt as if I couldn’t go against them or I wouldn’t fit in.
I overcame it through just realizing that my physical appearances back then, don’t affect me now. Everyone is an awkward middle school kid at one point in their lives, so just embrace it. I’m still skinny, and I most definitely am not perfect, but I’m me, and that’s what counts. It made a difference in my attitude toward myself, I now realize how important it is to realize that there are so many things you just can’t change about yourself, so just realizing that made me a more confident person.
It does stop. No matter what, there might always be someone prettier than you, skinnier than you, richer than you, but guess what…that applies to EVERYONE, but, no one else will ever be you. You’re the only you. There’s something unique about you. No matter who you are. I may be a beauty queen now, but I was that awkward picked on “anorexic, flat-chested” girl, so just be yourself no matter how tempting it may be to follow the crowd.
Reach out to organizations or things that you are interested in. Communities and organizations are always looking for volunteers for anything. So just reach out to anyone possible to see what you can do to help. The little things help just as much as the big things. Impacting lives in any way possible is what counts.
5 years from now I see myself as a CRNA, graduated from nursing school and working. If things go well at Miss Teen USA and I end up going to the New York Film Academy, you might see me in some movies or TV shows 😉 that would be ideal!
While this is everyone’s answer, my role model is my mom. I’ve never met a more hard working person than my mom. She has worked hard her whole life for everything that she has and to provide for her kids. She wants my brother and sister and I to prosper and succeed, and she has done everything possible to raise us well and give us everything possible to succeed.
Keep up with Olivia!